The Georgian government announced on May 18 that it was setting up of an inter-agency group to monitor and react on possible violations ahead of October parliamentary elections and “to ensure a transparent and fair” electoral environment.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections (IATF) is headed by Secretary of National Security Council Giga Bokeria, and includes representatives from the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Justice, Regional Development and Infrastructure, Finance, and Foreign Affairs, as well as from the office of National Security Council.
Creation of such group is envisaged by the election code, according to which the deadline for setting of the inter-agency task force was July 1, 2012. According to the election code, IATF is mandated with “preventing of and reacting to violations of electoral legislature by public officials.”
Political parties, which will notify the commission about alleged violations will have the right to take part in IATF’s sittings, according to the election code. Representatives from local and international election observer organization can also be invited to the commission sittings.
In case of violations, the inter-agency task force will “recommend” state agencies or CEC to take “relevant actions in a reasonable timeframe,” according to the election code.
“The IATF will foster coordination among various government agencies and promote dialogue between the government and all stakeholders in the electoral process. The IATF will cooperate with political parties, domestic non-governmental organizations and international organizations, and election observers,” the National Security Council said in a statement on May 18.
A similar inter-agency group was also operating ahead of the January, 2008 early presidential election, as well as during parliamentary elections in May, 2008 and local elections in May, 2010.