Assistance to Electoral Process in Georgia

Summary

UNDP  Georgia elections
Presidential Elections in Georgia 2013. Photo: David Khizanishvili/UNDP

Election process in Georgia has long been one of the most controversial subjects due to its key role in shaping decision-making structure of the country. From 1990s, the electoral process has been largely lacking credibility. The allegations concerned falsified voters’ lists, use of administrative resources, ballot stuffing and intimidation of voters. The election fraud has been the key factor behind the Rose Revolution in 2003. Since then, authorities have made significant steps towards enhancing credibility of the electoral process. However, it continues to be recognized that problems, such as the use of administrative resource and unbalanced media coverage, remain unresolved (Source: Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe).  
 

What We Do

In cooperation with the European Union, UNDP has been supporting the electoral process in Georgia with the objective to enhance national democratic institutions and ensure fair electoral process and active civil participation.

We worked closely with all electoral stakeholders, including the electoral administration, political parties, domestic observers, voters and the media. Our assistance focused on the major components of credible elections:

  • Qualified electoral administration and other electoral stakeholders
  • Electoral legislation
  • Informed voters

Results



The Electoral Administration of Georgia received professional, technical and training assistance in view of the Presidential elections of January 2004, January 2008 and October 2013, Parliamentary elections of March 2004, May 2008 and October 2012, Parliamentary by-elections of May 2012, Ajara Supreme Council elections of June 2004 and October 2012, and local self-governance elections of October 2006 and May 2010.

Over 50 thousand members of electoral administration received training in election administration and procedures based on the internationally recognized BRIDGE module. This included members of district and precinct electoral commissions, commission chairpersons, deputy chairpersons and secretaries.

In cooperation with Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), the Central Electoral Commission of Georgia conducted nation-wide information campaigns for voters.

The authorities and the opposition political parties engaged in a discussion to revise the Unified Electoral Code of Georgia. UNDP is facilitating this process in cooperation with the European Union, Council of Europe, National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  

Two working groups were established in 2003 to assist elections in Georgia. The Ambassadorial Working Group (AWG) includes accredited ambassadors and coordinates high-level support to the electoral process. The Technical Working Group (TWG) includes the organizations that provide technical advice on electoral matters and offer recommendations to the Ambassadorial Working Group.

Reuters Foundation and Transitions Online trained more than 100 representatives of the Georgian media in election reporting.

In view of the local self-governance and parliamentary by-elections of May 2010, all national electoral subjects, accredited local observers and the media signed the Code of Conduct to promote free and fair elections in a credible and stable environment while maintaining rule of law and respecting the principles of human rights and liberties.

During 2012 parliamentary elections, procedural training programme for all level election officials improved their operation capacity and professional behaviour. According to the International Election Observation mission, the election administration enjoyed a high level of confidence and managed the preparations for the 2012 elections in a professional manner.

In 2012, Ambassadorial and Technical Working groups were particularly active in information sharing, coordination on election related issues and communication among the key local and international election players.

OSCE/ODIHR concluded that 2012 parliamentary polls marked an important step in consolidating the conduct of democratic elections in line with international commitments. The electoral administration enjoyed a high level of confidence and managed elections in a professional manner. According to the 2013 Freedom House Survey, Georgia has achieved electoral democracy status.

During the 2014 municipal elections, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe stressed that – despite local incidents and individual irregularities – the elections were carried out in a calm and peaceful manner. Further progress was achieved in respect of the technical side of polling in Georgia, media freedom, access of the political contestants to the media, openness of the electorate and the absence of pressure on voters (Source: Observation of local elections in Georgia (15 June 2014))

Who finances it?

Total Budget Euro 1,110,000
European Union Euro  1,000,000
UNDP Euro    110,000

Delivery

  2012
UNDP US$   62,992.00
EU US$ 510,581.60
  2013
UNDP US$  79,620.01
EU US$ 599,939.94
  2014
UNDP US$        836.06
EU US$  184,281.81
Overview
Status:
Completed
Start date:
May 2012
End date:
May 2014
Geographic coverage:
National
Partners:
Central Electoral Commission of Georgia, Center of Electoral Systems Development, Reforms and Trainings
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Funded by the European Union

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United Nations Development Programme

Project Document
Contact Person in UNDP

Gigi Bregadze
Democratic Governance Team Leader
gigi.bregadze@undp.org