The number of eligible voters in Azerbaijan is 5,093,289.

The number of voters registered on the Voters list by the Central Elections Commission of Azerbaijan amounts to 5,093,289, of which 48.3% of which are males and 51.7% are females.  According to the Azerbaijani State News Agency, Azertac the process of compiling the 2015 voters list started in January and was completed in May.

source: CEW with Azertac

We are back in 2015 with election news and analysis from the Caucasus Region

Caucasus Elections Watch has been silent during 2014 – a year during which there were no national elections in the Caucasus region, although there were two municipal elections, one in Georgia and one in Azerbaijan. We reflected a lull in political activity in the region that will soon come to an end. Parliamentary Elections in Azerbaijan due in November 2015 are likely to be the most crucial held since independence in 1991. Political activities in Armenia and Georgia are also likely to increase as the next round of elections in these two countries start looming on the horizon. Caucasus Elections Watch will be back in 2015 – on line at http://www.electionswatch.org, and in printed format later in the year, bringing the latest electoral stories and behind the scene information and background from a region that is increasingly important for Europe and the rest of the world.

In the meantime we wish all our readers a Happy New Year.

ODIHR publishes final report on Azerbaijani Presidential Election.

The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE (ODIHR), has published its final report on the Presidential Elections held in Azerbaijan in October. The Interim Report of the ODIHR International Observation Mission was critical of the election process which it assessed negatively. The Azerbaijani authorities on their part criticised the report and rejected its findings.

The final report highlights serious shortcomings, including in the legislation, in the pre-election environment and during the voting and counting process and makes recommendations to the Azerbaijani government for addressing them.

More…

Georgia has a new President, and starts a new page in its history.

Giorgi Margvelashvili

Giorgi Margvelashvili

Georgia has a new President. Following Presidential elections held on Sunday that passed without any major incidents, Giorgi Margvelashvili, the candidate of the Georgian Dream coalition that hold the government and a majority in parliament, has emerged as the outright winner according to various opinion polls. The runner up, and candidate of the United National Movement, David Bakradze, has conceded defeat and congratulated Margvelashvili on his victory.

Turnout in the election was lower than in the Parliamentary elections in 2012 but enough to ensure that a re-run is not necessary.

This is a turning point for Georgia in all kinds of ways, and set a completely unprecedented and unique pattern of doing politics in the Caucasus region. Whilst Georgia has now turned the page in its modern political history a new set of leadership, quite unknown to the Georgian public are set to take the front line. Georgia still faces many serious problems, political, institutional and most of all economic. Yet the new leadership have a unique opportunity to build a new future for the Caucasus republic.

There will be more on the Georgian elections on Caucasus Elections Watch over the coming days.

Polling closes in Georgian Presidential election.

16.00 GMT: polling has closed in Georgia’s Presidential election. Turnout was considerably lower than at Parliamentary elections last year. There were reports from domestic election monitoring organisations of isolated cases of violations, and a serious case where a group of around 250 voters were not on the voters list in Adjara.

13.00 GMT:  Georgians wait in anticipation to see what will be the result of the first election that will see their President being replaced through a normal electoral process. By 15.00 hpours local time the central Elections commission was reporting that 32.05% of the electorate had cast their vote. This is a significant 13% less than the number of those who voted by the same time during the parliamentary elections last year. The lowest turnout is reported in the mainly Azerbaijani speaking regions of Khvemo Kartli

10.30 GMT: Voter turnout in Georgian Presidential elections was 17.5% by 12 noon – compared to 25% at the same time in Parliamentary elections in 2012.  Commentators have noted that the lowest turnout so far is in the mainly Azerbaijani populated region of Khvemo Kartli. This region was infamous throughout the last two decades for abuses during voting, including ballot stuffing and multiple voting. A low voter turnout may for the first time reflect the reality, namely an Azerbaijani speaking population that often feels marginalised and far away from the political processes in the Tbilisi.  According to the Georgian CEC 58593 representing 14.4% of the electorate, had cast their vote by 12 noon.

08.15 GMT: 240,732 voters had cast their ballot in the first two hours of voting in Georgia this morning, according to a briefing by the Central Elections Commission. This constitutes 6.8% of the electorate. Although compared to the same amount of people voting in the same period in the Parliamentary elections in 2012 this figure is low, commentators think that the early turnout in 2012 was due to the highly charged political atmosphere of that time and that the current vote trend is more in line with previous election patterns where voting peaked around lunchtime.

07.00 GMT:  Presidential Elections are taking place in Georgia. 23 candidates are contesting for the post of Head of States.

All polling stations opened on time at 8.00 am and the election process is under way in a clam atmosphere, the Central Election Commission, said at a briefing on Sunday morning.

3, 537, 719 voters are eligible to cast their ballot. They can do so in 3, 689 election precincts in Georgia itself and 50 election precincts abroad.

The Presidential Elections will be observed by 47,000 election candidates and political party representatives, as well as by nearly 20,000 local and 1,300 international observers. The election process will be covered by 1,400 media representatives.

Commentary: Will Bidzina do a Nelson, or will he do a Sonia?

No soft touch. Bidhzina Ivanishvili is a shrewd self-made man.

No soft touch. Bidhzina Ivanishvili is a shrewd self-made man.

In this commentary Dennis Sammut says that Bidzina Ivanishvili is an enigmatic and often misunderstood leader who has been able to change Georgian politics in a very short time, and that despite his announced political retirement he is likely to remain a very significant person in Georgian public life.

Bidzina Ivanishvili’s announcement that he will resign as prime minister and retire from mainstream politics one week after the presidential election on 27 October has left Georgians and everybody else astonished and bewildered, even though he had previously hinted that that is what he will do. More…