Two local election watchdogs - the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) and the International Society for Free Elections and Democracy (ISFED) - issued on Monday their assessments of the November 12 mayoral runoff elections in six constituencies of Georgia.
“The voting process was held in a mostly calm atmosphere,” GYLA said in its statement, while ISFED noted that “the process of vote tabulation was conducted without violations at 99.7% of polling stations.”
The two election watchdogs, however, added that some irregularities and incidents took place on the Election Day, mostly in Ozurgeti and Khashuri municipalities.
GYLA explained that unidentified persons, who the organization believes to be party activists, continued the practice of registering voters outside the polling stations. Moreover, according to the organization, voters were transported to some polling stations by minibuses and cars.
“Representatives of law enforcement agencies and party coordinators were observed in large numbers outside some polling stations in Ozurgeti, which may be perceived as an attempt to control the will of the voters,” ISFED said in its statement.
GYLA and ISFED commented on the incidents in Khashuri and in Nasakirali village of Ozurgeti municipality following the vote counting process.
According to ISFED, the physical confrontation in Khashuri took place between the ruling party activists and the representatives of the March of the Georgians, who were campaigning for Ramaz Nozadze, an independent candidate. GYLA said the incident needs to be investigated promptly.
As for the incident in polling station number 59 in Nasakirali, according to GYLA, some observers and media representatives at the polling station tried to interfere into the commission’s work, that left an impression that “it was done to intentionally disrupt the process and try to unduly annul the results.”
The ruling Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia party won five out of six mayoral runoff elections across the country, according to the preliminary results of November 12 polls. GDDG candidates obtained decisive victories in Borjomi, Kazbegi, Khashuri, Kutaisi and Martvili constituencies, but narrowly lost to an independent candidate in Ozurgeti Municipality.