Leading Georgian NGO raises concerns about arrests ahead of elections.

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association has issued a statement in which its raises concerns about arrests of dozens of people in Georgia from 21-24 September. In a statement, the respected NGO which has an excellent track record of twenty years working for human rights in Georgia stated the following:

In response to the recent frequent administrative arrests in Georgia, GYLA would like to state that identity and status of certain individuals, their political or civil activities and circumstances of their arrest as well as proceedings where court ordered administrative imprisonment against them raises doubts about motivation of measures applied.

GYLA is particularly concerned with the fact that during recent days there has been a frequent cases of application of administrative detention. According to various reports, from September 21 to September 24, there were total of 23 administrative arrests on charges of disobedience to the police in several cities of Georgia . Some of the detainees are representatives of or associated with the opposition coalition Georgian Dream, including Davit Patsatsia arrested on September 21, and Kakhaber Zhorzholiani arrested on September 23. The detainees’ relation with the coalition Georgian Dream was confirmed by one of the representatives of the coalition, who informed GYLA that the detainees are coordinators and members of the coalition’s mobile group. The detainees also include persons actively involved in recent protest assemblies – Dachi Tsaguria and Beka Aladashvili, arrested on September 22, whose interests were defended by GYLA’s representative in court. More…

ODIHR’s first interim report on Georgia a non-event.

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission for the Georgian Parliamentary Elections has published its first interim report covering the period from 22 August to 5 September 2012.

The report  has been characterised by some following the Georgian election process as a bland and expensive non-event since it waffles through the main issues that have been at the centre of the Georgian Electoral process. A team of several dozen core and so called “long term” members of the mission deployed at the end of August, months after the election campaign had started in earnest. The report makes no attempt to capture the many controversies that have dominated the process so far. The core and “long term” observers are due to be joined for elections day by 350 short term observers deployed from the OSCE member states.

A second report is due shortly before the day of the elections.

The ODIHR EOM to Georgia first interim report is available here.

source: CEW

ODIHR Election Observation Mission in Georgia starts its work.

The OSCE has announced that its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has launched its Election Observation Mission ahead of the  1 October Parliamentary elections in Georgia. A statement on the OSCE website says:

“The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today opened an election observation mission for the parliamentary elections to be held in Georgia on 1 October.

The mission’s deployment follows an invitation from the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

The mission is led by Nikolai Vulchanov and consists of 15 international experts based in Tbilisi and 28 long-term observers to be deployed throughout the country. In addition, ODIHR will request 350 short-term observers to monitor election-day proceedings and the counting process. More…

Initiative of the United National Movement assessed positively by Georgian Opposition Parties.

An initiative from the governing United National Movement ahead of next October’s parliamentary elections in Georgia has been broadly welcomed by a number of opposition parties.

The initiative follows incidents in which supporters of government and opposition clashed in several areas of Georgia during activities of the Georgian Dream opposition coalition. The UNM has proposed that all parties sign a four point code of conduct, which says that despite having substantial difference on many issues signatory political parties “recognise the decisive importance of free, fair and peaceful electoral process for the country’s further democratic development.” More…

NDI poll indicates two way race in October Elections in Georgia 2

From June 4-22, the Caucasus Resource research Centre (CRRC), conducted nation-wide poll in Georgia for the US based non-profit think tank National Democratic Institute (NDI). The NDI and CRRC conducted 6229 face-to-face interviews over the most recent and fourth phase of this study.
The figures indicate that the October Parliamentary Elections in Georgia will be a two way race between the ruling United National Movement and the Georgian Dream Coalition.Whilst the UNM maintained a considerable lead in the polls, as compared to an earlier NDI poll conducted in February the gap between the two parties has closed considerably. A third party, the Christian Democrats trailed far behind.

                                                                        June 2012                   February 2012

United National Movement                                      36%                            47%

Georgian Dream Coalition                                       18%                            10%

Christian Democrats                                                      3%                             3%

The poll has a margin of error plus, minus 2%.

According to the same poll 22% were undecided, almost the same number as it was in February and 16% refused to answer, up from 10% in February and 4% said they would vote for none of the parties. More…