IRI is proud to announce the release of its first interim election assessment report ahead of Georgia’s October 8th parliamentary elections.
IRI’s long-term election observation mission deployed to Georgia on August 1, and will remain in place through the second round elections, anticipated to take place in late October or early November. The team is based in seven regional cities (Tbilisi, Batumi, Zugdidi, Kutaisi, Akhaltsikhe, Rustavi and Telavi), and includes representatives from ten different countries. More specific information on the mission can be found HERE.
The interim report covers August 1 – August 25, 2016, and provides an in-depth look at the Georgian election environment so far. Here are a few selected findings:
- A large proportion of women have been selected to serve on Precinct Election Commissions.
- The campaign environment to date has been calm, yet allegations of misuse of administrative resources by local elected officials persist.
- Pro-Russian parties remain weak, but have gained some support despite anti-Western sentiments in an overwhelmingly pro-Western environment.
- The election is expected to be competitive at all levels, with many districts proceeding to run-off contests.
- The media environment is widely perceived as fair and balanced, despite ongoing ownership controversies.
IRI’s observers have noted several matters of concern related to the use and abuse of administrative resources by the sitting government. However, the process so far has generally been very calm, even in the eyes of the opposition. This is an important election for Georgia, and both the Georgian government and opposition have repeatedly stated how crucial it is that the balloting be conducted in a fair and transparent manner so that Georgia’s path towards democracy proceeds at a strong pace.Top