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ISFED releases its First Interim Report

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, July 27
“Compared with the pre-election period of 2012, in July 2016 the number of violations decreased,” the CEO of Non-governmental Organisation (NGO)-International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Mikheil Benidze stated at the press-conference, where ISFED presented its first Interim Report.

2 cases of intimidation / harassment based on political affiliation, 3 cases of dismissal from work on alleged political grounds, 2 instances of violence, 2 cases of possible vote buying, 5 cases of participation of unauthorized individual in canvassing, and 2 cases of use of administrative resources were identified by the NGO ISFED’s first interim report of pre-election monitoring for October 8, 2016 elections, on July 26.

The report also summarizes changes in local budgets in some municipalities and scaling up of social and infrastructural projects.

“Although the Election Code prohibits such changes within 60 days ahead of elections, activation of social campaigns and mobilization of budget funds for social projects lead us to believe that initiation or expansion of social projects in some municipalities has to do with the formal launch of the pre -election campaign,” the report reads.

ISFED found 8 such cases during the reporting period.

According to the NGO, ISFED's long-term observers attended 52 public meetings of electoral subjects that took place during the period of July 1-18, 2016. The report outlines pre-election promises made by political parties during these public meetings.

“In July 2016, series of amendments were made to the Election Code of Georgia but no fundamental changes have been made for substantial improvement of the electoral environment, including for electoral system reform and promotion of women representation in the parliament,” the report points out.

By releasing the report, ISFED addresses local self-governments, electoral subjects and the Inter-Agency Task Force with recommendations about issues highlighted by the monitoring report.

ISFED carries out the pre-election monitoring in all electoral districts of Georgia through 68 long-term observers.