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.
Ilham Aliev was sworn in for his third term as President of Azerbaijan at a simple ceremony held in the Parliament of Azerbaijan attended by Members of Parliament, State officials and others.
Earlier the result of the 9th October Presidential election was confirmed at a special session of the Constitutional Court. The decision of the Constitutional Court based on the final report of the Central Elections Commission stated that Ilham Aliyev won the presidential election held on October 9 having gained 84.54 percent (3,126,113) voters.
Farhad Abdullayev, President of the Constitutional Court read out the Constitutional Court’s decision.
Other candidates received the following number of votes:
Jamil Hasanli – 5.53 percent (204,642 votes)
Iqbal Aghazade – 2.40 percent (88,723 votes)
Gudret Hasanguliyev – 1.99 percent (73,702 votes)
Zahid Oruj – 1.46 percent (53,839 votes)
Ilyas Ismayilov – 1.07 percent (39,722 votes)
Araz Alizade – 0.87 percent (32,069 votes)
Faraj Guliyev – 0.86 percent (31,926 votes)
Hafiz Hajiyev – 0.66 percent (24,461 votes)
Sardar Mammadov – 0.61 percent (22,773 votes).
source: Caucasus Elections Watch with Trend News Agency (Baku)
The Head of the Secretariat of the Azerbaijani Central Elections Commission, Rovzat Gasimov, has stated that nearly half a million young people will vote for the first time in the forthcoming presidential election in the country. This constitutes around 10% of the total electorate, which is approximately five million voters. Gasimov also said that in all around 40% of the electorate are considered to be youth.
Gasimov was speaking at the launch of a project called “Vote” which is being implemented by the “Ireli” public union with the assistance of the Central Elections Commission. The launch was held earlier this week at the Park Inn Hotel in Baku. Speaking at the event, “Ireli “ Chairman Rauf Merdiyev said that the goal is to raise the turnout of the youth in the upcoming Presidential elections and to raise election awareness amongst young people voting for the first time.
Voter apathy has not stopped many candidates putting forward their names for the forthcoming Presidential elections in Georgia, even though the new President will have much reduced power. Every sign indicates however that this is going to be a three-horse race.
Georgians go to the polls again on Sunday, 27 October, to vote for a new President at the end of the eventful ten-year administration of the incumbent, Mikhail Saakashvili. According to the Georgian constitution Saakashvili cannot run again, after having served two terms. The election comes just a year after the historic October 2012 Parliamentary election that saw the first peaceful transfer of power between opposing political groups through the ballot box in the Caucasus region. More…