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Watchdog Groups Lay Out Terms for Free Elections
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 13 Nov.'07 / 14:41

Three watchdog organizations have outlined what they consider to be  ten pre-conditions for holding a free and fair presidential election and a plebiscite on when to hold parliamentary elections.

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA); Transparency International – Georgia and International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) deem the following to be necessary:

  1. the state of emergency should be lifted without delay;
  2. media freedom should be restored and guaranteed;
  3. the right of assembly should be restored and guaranteed;
  4. the legislative framework for the elections should be clarified as quickly as possible, while ensuring the greatest possible degree of consensus between election stakeholders and participation of relevant local and international organizations;
  5. the elections should be administered at every level in an impartial and professional manner;
  6. administrative resources should not be used to support the campaign of any candidate or any option in the plebiscite;
  7. every effort must be made to maximize the accuracy of the voters’ lists, including publication of lists for inspection by citizens as soon as possible so that all necessary corrections can be made;
  8. every citizen should be provided with adequate and timely information, including the address of the relevant polling station in order to be able to cast their ballot. Particular attention needs to be paid to the rights of ethnic minorities;
  9. all election stakeholders should ensure transparency of their election expenditures. This should include provision of information for the public as well as the election administration;
  10. the protocols of election results should be posted at every polling station as soon as the count has been completed and the Central Election Commission should publish results for every precinct commission within 48 hours of the election.

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