Lokale Wahlen in Georgien - local elections in Georgia >>

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Allyson Schwartz praises Georgia`s municipal elections - 15.06.10, Rustavi 2
Congressional Georgia Caucasus Representative Allyson Schwartz sent a letter to her colleagues, members of the U.S. Congress regarding the Local Election Results held in Georgia on May 30, 2010.
`Evaluated by international monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the elections marked very positive progress towards meeting international standards for democratic elections. While there still remained some technical irregularities in the administration of the elections, overall the elections were organized in a transparent, inclusive and professional manner. We are encouraged by the Central Election Commission`s efforts to increase transparency and responsiveness to electoral concerns, and look forward to continuing to work with the Republic of Georgia to help them fully realize free and fair elections`, the letter says.
Vice Speaker of Georgia Parliament Gigi Tsereteli has scheduled a meeting with Allyson Schwartz in Washington for today.

Überblick zur Berichterstattung im Fernsehen bezüglich der lokalen Wahlen - 05.06.2010, Civil Georgia

Imedi TV has dedicated almost half of its election-related coverage in its main news programs started from April 26 to the incumbent Tbilisi mayor candidate, Gigi Ugulava - more than any other five television stations being under monitoring in frames of project supported by EU Delegation to Georgia and UN Development Programme (UNDP). Imedi TV's coverage of Ugulava was either positive or neutral.

Follow links below to view details of monitoring results:

Length of coverage time allocated to candidates and coverage tone May 26-June 1 - pdf

Aggregate results for all four weeks on length and tone of coverage April 26-June 1 – pdf

Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) has been monitoring main news bulletins and selected talk shows on three national television stations - public broadcaster's First Channel; Rustavi 2 TV and Imedi TV and three local Tbilisi stations - Kavkasia TV; Maestro TV and Real TV.


NATO-Generalsekretär Anders Fogh Rasmussen zu lokalen Wahlen in Georgien: "... frei und fair ... mit positiver Wirkung für die NATO-Beziehungen ..." - 04.06.2010, Civil Georgia
The way how May 30 local elections were held in Georgia will have “a positive impact” on NATO-Georgia relations, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretary general, said while speaking at a session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Riga on June 1.
He made the remarks in response to a question asked by a Georgian lawmaker from the ruling party, Giorgi Kandelaki, during the question and answer session.
“We appreciate that elections took place in a way, which has been recognized as free and fair by the international community. You asked me which impact these elections will have on Georgia’s relationship with NATO. Of course the positive impact. But I have also to say, we had expected these elections to take place in a way which could be considered as free and fair. It is of course an important element in Georgia’s fulfillment of the requirement within NATO-Georgia Commission and the Annual National Programme [a document, laying out the country’s reform targets],” Rasmussen said.


"Alliance for Georgia" zweifelt das Ergebnis in einem Wahldistrikt in Tbilisi an - 04.06.2010, Civil Georgia
Davit Saganelidze von der "New Rights Party" reklamiert Wahlfälschung, obwohl Vakhtang Natsvlishvili bereits vorher einen knappen Vorsprung hatte.
Alliance for Georgia said it was challenging early results of elections in one of Tbilisi’s single-mandate constituencies in an attempt to secure one more seat in the Tbilisi City Council.
Davit Saganelidze of New Rights Party, part of Alliance for Georgia, was running in majoritarian contest in one of single mandate constituencies of Tbilisi’s Vake district. According to the early results a ruling party candidate, Vakhtang Natsvlishvili, has a narrow lead over Saganelidze; but the latter claims that his rival candidate gained more votes only as a result of “falsification” that occurred during the vote count in several precincts of the constituency, which should become a reason for a repeat vote.
As of late June 3, according to Central Election Commission, vote results of only five precincts have been annulled - all in provinces, including three in Lagodekhi, Mestia and Mtskheta districts and two precincts in Sagarejo district.
Voting for majoritarian candidates was not held at all in three precincts, located in Tsalka, Tsageri and Oni districts, because of the problems related to majoritarian contest ballot papers.
Repeat elections in all of these precincts will be held tentatively on June 12, according to the Central Election Commission.


USA über die lokalen Wahlen in Georgien: Fortschritte zu int. Standards - 03.06.2010, Civil Georgia
Echoing OSCE observation mission’s findings, the U.S. Department of State said Georgia’s May 30 local elections marked progress towards meeting international standards for democratic elections.
“But we also agree with the OSCE that significant shortcomings need to be addressed,” Philip J. Crowley, a spokesman for the Department of State, said on June 2.
“We are encouraged by the Central Election Commission’s efforts to increase transparency and responsiveness to electoral concerns,” he said.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) said on June 2 that results in five precincts were annulled, because of violations observed during the vote count in those polling stations and in one case – precinct in Mestia district - vote summary protocol was missing.
CEC has time to approve final vote tally protocol till June 23.


Alasania nennt das Wahlergebnis "noch weit entfernt von einem Erfolg, aber schafft eine Basis für einen Erfolg bei den Parlamentswahlen 2012" - 03.06.2010, Civil Georgia
Irakli Alasania, leader of four-party Alliance for Georgia (AFG), said the local election result was far from being a success for his coalition, but it created opportunity on which success could be built for 2012 parliamentary elections.
"Improvement of the current electoral environment and winning the parliamentary elections - these are the issues on which we are now focused," he told Tbilisi-based Maestro TV's program, Straightforward Conversation, late on June 2.
Alasania came second in the Tbilisi mayoral race after the incumbent with 19% of votes.
Referring to President Saakashvili's remarks made earlier on June 2 about the next elections, Alasania warned the authorities not to try "to tailor new constitution on thier own interests."
President Saakashvili said at government session: “The nearest elections will not be held within, at least, two years or even more – I do not know exactly how [new] constitution will be formulated."
"I want to warn the authorities, that our patience also has limits," Alasania said. "If the authorities started to tailor the constitution on thier own interests, it will have irreconcilable response from us, as well as from the international community."
He also said that new constitution should be endorsed through referendum and the new constitution's "legitimacy will be doubtful" if it was passed by the sitting parliament.
He said that the results of the local elections took AFG on the top of the opposition forces making it "a leading opposition force in the country."
But AFG's claims on this status are challenged by Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), a leading party in the parliamentary minority.
Although CDM came third in Tbilisi elections with 12% after the ruling party (52.5%) and AFG (18%), it has out-polled other opposition parties, including AFG in majority of provincial municipalities. CDM also received much more votes in large towns - Kutaisi, Rustavi, Batumi and Poti - than AFG (for details see the results on the map).
MP Giorgi Targamadze, the leader of CDM, said after the elections that the results were success for his party.
“If any political organization has a firm ground to talk about success, it is us, the Christian-Democratic Movement, which gained the firm first place on the opposition front throughout Georgia,” he said.
Alasania, however, said that his alliance received in the provinces more than he expected. "It was a surprise for me," he said and added that the Alliance was making focus mainly on the contest in Tbilisi and it had not enough financial and human resources to properly campaign in the regions.
In general all the parties were making major focus on the Tbilisi contest, but the ruling party and CDM carried out more active campaigning in the regions than any other political party.
Alasania said that as part of preparing for the next elections, his coalition and in particular his party, Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD), which he established year ago, would also focus on building party infrastructure in the regions.
He acknowledged that he was a bit disappointed with voter turnout in Tbilisi, 46.6%, as he expected about 60% or even 65%. Alasania said that some opposition parties' stance, apparently referring to those who were boycotting the elections, contributed to "nihilism" among part of opposition-minded voters.
He also said that the major achievement of the elections was that the developments had eventually moved "from stone-throwing into political process". "There is no other alternative rather than elections in order to change the government," he said.


Alasania presented interm analysis of elections
- 02.06.10, Rustavi 2
The leader of the Alliance for Georgia, Irakli Alasania has presented an interim analysis of the local government elections held on May 30. Alasania said the elections were accompanies with numerous violations, including pressure upon voters, manipulations at special polling stations, obstructions to observers, intensive use of administrative resources by the ruling party and other procedural irregularities.
`The analysis of the elections after two days has revealed numerous violations,` Alasania said and added the Alliance would launch activities aiming at improving the electoral environment in the country for the next parliamentary and presidential elections.
Alasania said they had already submitted over 100 complaints with video evidences about the violations revealed by their observers.
`It is very difficult to fight incredible illegal activities of the government via legal methods; however, once again we have been convinced that the elections are the only right procedure for replacing government in Georgia. Our duty before our future generation is to pass this hard way and have success,` Alasania said and thanked supporters in Tbilisi and regions.


Parteigruppierung "National Council" über die lokalen Wahlen: ... nennenswerte Verletzungen, Druck auf Wähler, weit entfernt von frei und fair ... - 02.06.2010, Civil Georgia
National Council, a coalition uniting Conservative Party, Party of People and ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli’s Movement for Fair Georgia, said local elections were marred by significant violations including pressure on voters and the polls could not be considered as free and fair.
“Hence, the National Council is not joining congratulations extended to the ruling party, because the election results are not based on free choice of the Georgian citizens,” the National Council said in a statement on June 2.
It also said that the coalition would continue to address violations observed during the elections through legal means including court proceedings.
The National Council said the opposition’s failure to unit and challenge the ruling party with united front was “the major reason” of the opposition’s failure in the local elections.
With slightly over 8%, the National Council was fourth in Tbilisi after the ruling National Movement party, Alliance for Georgia and Christian-Democratic Movement.
The National Council performed better in some provincial constituencies. It outpolled other opposition parties in at least seven provincial constituencies coming second after the ruling party in Adjara Autonomous Republic’s Kobuleti and Khulo, as well as in mountainous districts of Dusheti, Kazbegi, Tianeti. According to the results available as of now, the National Council has cleared 5% threshold, necessary for endorsing its candidates through party-list, proportional system in at least 23 municipalities. (For details see the map of election results).
“The National Council does not deem clearing threshold as a success in the local elections. The only success in today’s Georgia can be change of the Saakashvili’s regime… The National Council will continue fight for the change of the Saakashvili regime and is ready to cooperate with everyone, whose goal is a real change of these authorities,” the coalition said.


Präsident Saakashvili: nach den lokalen Wahlen nun Zeit, um mit den Reformen voranzuschreiten, da nächste Wahlen erst 2012 - 02.06.2010, Civil Georgia


Danish observers observe insigificant irregularities at May 30 polls - 31.05.10, Rustavi 2
Election monitors from Denmark have reported their impression of the May 30 local government elections in Georgia to the members of the parliamentary majority today. The representatives of the Danish organization Silba have observed insignificant irregularities in the vote procedures, but the most serious problem for them was interpreters. In the interviews with Georgian journalists given after the meeting with the ruling party MPs, they said the lack of interpreters posed problems to voters from various ethnic groups.
`In general it was it was good election. No serious violations have been observed. We can only outline insignificant irregularities regarding the national minorities, who did not have interpreters to read the ballots,` the observers said.
The Danish observers assessed the local government elections as democratic in general and recommended to the ruling party to provide interpreters to the voters of various ethnic minorities at the next elections.


Präsident Saakashvili: ‘Wahlen sollten Beispiel sein’ - 21.05.2010, Civil Georgia

President Saakashvili said on May 21, that the upcoming local elections should be “exemplary” as they have huge importance for country’s security.
“I think that we, as the best organized and leading political force in Georgia, have a double responsibility,” Saakashvili said in televised remarks made at a meeting with lawmakers from his ruling National Movement party.
“The first is to maintain the existing course of reforms – despite all difficulties, despite the fact that a new wave of economic crisis is raging in the world – and to bring the launched work to the end. And the second is to hold exemplary elections so that nobody has a reason to put a justified blame on us, as [these local elections] have a great internal and external political importance in terms of our security,” he said.
“I think that many steps were made forward by the election commission recently. There is unimaginable accessibility to media outlets. I do not know any election campaigns in many places of the world where all parties can talk on all TV channels for so many hours, where all parties can put their ads on all TV channels, including unprofitably for these channels, and of course, it has not remained unnoticed, including for foreign observers.”
He criticized opposition for making, as he said, unrealistic election promises of “cosmic scales”. ...

Übersicht zur lokalen Wahl - 21.05.2010, Civil Georgia
Voters in Georgia will elect 64 new municipal councils in May 30 local elections for a four-year term.
The major focus of the local elections is made on contest in the capital city, Tbilisi, which will directly elect its mayor for the first time.
Outcome of mayoral contest, as well as of party contest for Tbilisi Sakrebulo (City Council), in the capital city, where one-third of the country’s voters are concentrated, is believed to largely determine the country’s political landscape in run up to presidential elections in 2013, when Mikheil Saakashvili’s second and final term in office expires.
Municipal Councils (Sakrebulo)
Formally there are 69 local municipal councils (Sakrebulo), but authority of five of them will be automatically prolonged without elections; these are those five councils, which before the August, 2008 were located in the Georgian-controlled areas of breakaway Abkhazia (in Kodori gorge) and South Ossetia (Eredvi, Tigvi, Kurta and Akhalgori).
All the Councils are composed through both majoritarian and party-list, proportional system.
Proportional Contest
The seats allocated under the proportional system are distributed to the parties and election blocs, which clear a 5% threshold in provincial regions.
Lower threshold of 4% is set for Tbilisi City Council proportional contest.
Number of seats in majority of Councils distributed through proportional system is 10.
Exception is the capital city, where total of 25 proportional seats are for grab and three other major cities – Kutaisi, Batumi and Rustavi, where 15 seats in each are contested.
There are total of 670 proportional seats for grab in all 64 Councils.
Majoritarian Contest
Number of majoritarian seats varies in various municipal councils, depending on their size.
The largest is Tbilisi, where 25 majoritarian seats are for grab (there is total of 50 seats in the Tbilisi City Council).
In Tbilisi total of 228 majoritarian candidates have been nominated by about dozen of political parties and election blocs. Number of contenders in each of 25 single-mandate constituencies varies from at least 7 to 11.
Councils of three other major cities – Kutaisi, Rustavi and Batumi – have 10 majoritarian seats each and there are five majoritarian seats in Poti.
There are total of 1,025 majoritarian seats for grab in all 64 Councils.
Mayoral Race
Tbilisi is the only city in Georgia where mayor is elected through direct vote.
Mayors of four other major cities – Kutaisi, Rustavi, Batumi and Poti – are elected by the local municipal Councils. The same rule was applied for Tbilisi as well, but it was changed as a result of amendments to the election code in December, 2009.
In other provincial municipalities, a head of district (Gamgebeli as it is called in Georgian) is appointed through the approval of local Councils.
There are nine candidates running for the Tbilisi mayoral office:
Gigi Ugulava, an incumbent Tbilisi mayor, nominated by the ruling party;
Irakli Alasania, leader of Alliance for Georgia;
Giorgi Chanturia, nominated by Christian-Democratic Movement;
Gogi Topadze, leader of Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists);
Zviad Dzidziguri, leader of Conservative Party, nominated by a coalition, which also includes Party of People and ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli’s Movement for Fair Georgia;
Davit Iakobidze, nominated by Democratic Party of Georgia;
Nika Ivanishvili, head nominated by his newly established party Popular Democrats;
Tamaz Vashadze, nominated by Solidarity party;
Giorgi Lagidze, leader of Future Georgia party.
A candidate, who receives no less than 30% votes will be declared winner. If no one clears the 30% threshold, a run off will take place within a month between the two candidates who obtain the highest number of votes.
Election Administration
Central Election Commission (CEC) is the main body administering elections.
CEC is composed of 13 members, including its chairman Zurab Kharatishvili, who was elected on the post by the Parliament in January, 2010.
Seven members of CEC are from following political parties: ruling National Movement party; Labor Party (the party boycotts the local elections); Conservative Party; Industrialists; Republican Party (part of Alliance for Georgia); On Our Own party and Christian-Democratic Movement – these two latter parties have formed an election bloc to run in the elections on a joint ticket.
Five remaining CEC members were nominated by the President and appointed by the Parliament.
There are 73 District Election Commissions (DEC) – middle-level election administrations.
There are over 3,600 Precinct Election Commissions (PEC), which are the lowest level of election administrations, but of crucial importance as they are in charge of administering polling stations and are first bodies to count votes.
Like CEC, each PEC and DEC has 13 members and distribution of seats in PECs and DECs among the political parties is similar to the one in CEC.

Lokale Wahlen in Georgien - local elections in Georgia >>

Infos zu den Kandidaten der Bürgermeisterwahl in Tbilisi:
Gigi Ugulava - Irakli Alasania - Giorgi Chanturia - Zviad Dzidziguri - Gogi Topadze
05.05.2010, Civil Georgia

OSZE-PRESSEMITTEILUNG - OSCE PRESS RELEASE
Georgian local elections mark evident progress, but significant shortcomings remain to be addressed - 31.05.2010, OSZE
Yesterday's municipal elections in Georgia marked evident progress towards meeting international standards, but significant shortcomings remain to be addressed, international observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) and the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities concluded in a statement released today.
The election administration organized these elections in a transparent, inclusive and professional manner, but systemic irregularities were observed on election day in some regions, including several cases of ballot box stuffing and procedural violations during the vote count. The observers also noted deficiencies in the legal framework and its implementation, and characterized the campaign environment as an uneven playing field favouring contestants from the incumbent party. The Georgian public broadcaster provided overall balanced coverage.
The authorities made efforts to pro-actively address problems, including improving the quality of the voter lists. Nevertheless, the low level of public confidence in the election process persisted. The observers said further efforts in resolutely tackling recurring misconduct are required in order to consolidate the progress achieved and enhance public trust before the next national elections.
"These elections were marked by clear improvements and efforts by the authorities to address problems occurring during the process. It is now time to fix the remaining shortcomings and take effective steps to prevent electoral malpractices before the next elections at the national level," said Ambassador Audrey Glover, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR long-term Election Observation Mission.
"The municipal councils, the mayors and - more specifically - the directly elected Mayor of Tbilisi have now to solve the social and economic problems of the country which are serious. From the perspective of locally elected representatives, responsible regional stability policies are key in this respect. The Congress is ready to accompany and assist Georgia in this direction, in particular with regard to the development of local democracy and citizens' participation," said Günther Krug, Head of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities delegation.
"Strong democracy is built from local level upwards so we were particularly pleased to see the high level of engagement and interest of young people, women and minorities in these elections. We hope that, as shortcomings are addressed and confidence develops, many of them will move from involvement in the process to be the candidates of the future," said Sharon Taylor, speaker of the members of the European Union's Committee of the Regions in the Congress delegation.

International election observers to present findings at press conference in Tbilisi on Monday - 29.05.2010, OSZE
The international observers deployed by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) and the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities will present their preliminary statement at a news conference on Monday.
The preliminary statement will be delivered by Gunther Krug, Head of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities delegation, and Ambassador Audrey Glover, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR long-term Election Observation Mission. A representative of the European Union's Committee of the Regions, which participates in the Congress delegation, will also speak at the press conference.
The OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission comprises 249 observers from more than 40 countries, including 41 long-term and 208 short-term observers. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities deployed 17 observers.
Journalists are invited to the news conference at 14:00 on Monday, 31 May at the Sheraton Metechi in Tbilisi.
For further information contact:
Jens-Hagen Eschenbächer, OSCE/ODIHR, mobile: 899 53 82 08 or +48 603 683 122, jens.eschenbaecher@odihr.pl
Renate Zikmund, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, +33 6 59 78 64 55, renate.zikmund@coe.int

CEC-PRESSEMITTEILUNG - CEC PRESS RELEASE
26 Parteien registriert, sich um die lokalen Wahlen zu bewerben
Parteien Registered to Run in Local Elections -14 .04.2010, Civil Georgia
Central Election Commission (CEC) registered 26 political parties to run in the May 30 local elections:
   1. Democratic Party of Georgia;
   2. Future Georgia;
   3. National-Democratic Party;
   4. Political Movement - Solidarity;
   5. Our Georgia–Free Democrats;
   6. Republican Party;
   7. Political Union - New Rights Party;
   8. Political Union - Public Democrats;
   9. Political Party – Our Country (Chveni Kvekana);
  10. Christian-Democratic Movement;
  11. Political Union of Citizens  - Christian-Democratic Peoples’ Party;
  12. Georgian Troupe (Kartuli Dasi);
  13. Political Union of Citizens -  Public Alliance of Whole Georgia;
  14. Political Union 'On Our Own';
  15. Movement – Justice for Georgia;
  16. The National Party of Radical Democrats of Georgia;
  17. Conservative Party of Georgia;
  18. Political Union - Tavisupleba;
  19. Georgia's Way;
  20. Party of Peoples’ Party;
  21. Political Union – United National Movement;
  22. Party of Future;
  23. Political Movement of Law enforcement Veterans, Patriots and Pensioners – Mamulishvili;
  24. Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists);
  25. Union of Georgian Sportsmen;
  26. Movement for United Georgia;

Deadline for registration expired on April 13.
Total of 36 parties have applied for registration, but ten of them were rejected in registration on the grounds that six of them failed to submit required 30,000 signatures of supporters and four of them, including Greens Party had inaccuracies in the submitted signatures of supporters, CEC said.
Some of the registered parties are expected to form election blocs; for example, New Rights, Republican Party; Our Georgia-Free Democrats and Georgia’s Way are united in the Alliance for Georgia, which will be formally established as a bloc.
Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), a leading party in the parliamentary minority group, announced about the plans to establish election bloc with On Our Own party and Christian-Democratic Peoples’ Party.
Ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli’s Movement for Fair Georgia, Conservative Party and Party of People are also united in an alliance known as National Council.

36 parties have applied for registration:

  1. Democratic Party of Georgia
  2. Future Georgia
  3. National-Democratic Party
  4. The Merab Kostava Society
  5. Political Movement - Solidarity
  6. Political Union – Patriot Order Samshoblo
  7. Political Organization - Mamuli
  8. Greens Party of Georgia
  9. Our Georgia–Free Democrats
  10. Republican Party;
  11. Political Union - New Rights Party;
  12. Political Union - Public Democrats;
  13. Political Party – Our Country (Chveni Kvekana);
  14. Christian-Democratic Movement;
  15. Political Union of Citizens  - Christian-Democratic Peoples’ Party;
  16. Political Union of Citizens - Labour Council of Georgia;
  17. Georgian Troupe (Kartuli Dasi);
  18. Political Union of Citizens -  Public Alliance of Whole Georgia;
  19. Political Union 'On Our Own';
  20. Movement – Justice for Georgia;
  21. Party – Neutral Georgia;
  22. Political Union of Citizens – Georgian Laborers Rights Defence Party;
  23. The National Party of Radical Democrats of Georgia;
  24. Conservative Party of Georgia;
  25. Political Union - Tavisupleba;
  26. Georgia's Way;
  27. Party of Peoples’ Party;
  28. Political Union – United National Movement;
  29. Party of Future;
  30. Political Movement of Law enforcement Veterans, Patriots and Pensioners – Mamulishvili;
  31. Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists);
  32. Union of Georgian Sportsmen;
  33. Conservative (Monarchist) Party of Georgia;
  34. Movement for United Georgia;
  35. Political Union of Georgian Lawyers;
  36. People's Party