Public Defender Summarizes Election Day
The Public Defender of Georgia, within his legal mandate, supervises the protection of citizens' right to vote. The process of voting was largely peaceful.
The Public Defender calls on all parties involved in the election process to realize the importance of holding elections in a peaceful atmosphere and to promote maintenance of stable environment.
As for the voting process, Public Defender’s monitors reported certain cases of violence. Particularly acute was the incident in Marneuli’s 48th polling station, to which the Public Defender responded by a statement. At the same time, the Public Defender started to study the fact of beating of 2 representatives of the United National Movement in Tbilisi on his own initiative. According to the latest reports, an investigation has been launched into the case. It is important the state to timely respond to such cases.
Public Defender's monitors were present in 919 polling stations and checked information received through a hotline (14-81), as well as from the media and actors involved in the elections. They also verified legality of certain procedures. Public Defender's monitors also arrived at the polling stations set up for the exceptional cases of the 2016 parliamentary elections: 1 medical establishment and 5 facilities of the penitentiary department. A representative of the Public Defender monitored the election process in Khurcha, the border village of the Samegrelo region, and the administrative unit of Rukhi. Another representative of the Public Defender monitored the voting of soldiers in the Ujarma polling station in the Kakheti region.
Large part of violations of voting procedures was caused by the lack of training of members of district election commissions. From 7:00 am there had been cases when journalists and observers had problems in timely access to polling stations (3 cases); control papers were incorrectly filled (3 cases), final protocols were signed in advance, polling stations were opened late (12 cases), voting ballots were delivered late (16 cases), observers encountered barriers in implementation of their right, election entities carried out election campaign, rights of people with disabilities were allegedly violated (2 cases), etc.
The Public Defender's Office continues to monitor the counting of votes, tabulation of election results and review of complaints. The Public Defender will present detailed information about violations through a special report.