Justice Minister, Tea Tsulukiani, will chair an inter-agency commission in charge of looking into violations during election campaign, which up until now operated under the chairmanship of secretary of National Security Council Giga Bokeria.
Last month Parliament passed amendments to the election code, which, among other issues, also envisaged moving the Inter-Agency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections (IATF) from the National Security Council to the Ministry of Justice.
IATF, according to the election code, is mandated with “preventing of and reacting to violations of electoral legislature by public officials.” Political parties have the right to take part in IATF’s sittings and representatives from local and international election observer organization can also be invited to the commission sittings. In case of violations, the inter-agency task force will “recommend” state agencies or CEC to take “relevant actions in a reasonable timeframe,” according to the election code.
According to a report by international election observers from OSCE, who were monitoring October 2012 parliamentary polls, throughout the electoral campaign, the IATF “proved a useful forum for the review of concerns raised by stakeholders.”
Ahead of the April 27 MP by-elections opinion within IATF over specific cases was often split with government representatives in the commission frequently disagreeing with NSC secretary Giga Bokeria, who at the time chaired IATF, and as a result the latter was often issuing his separate recommendations.
New 10-member IATF, which includes senior officials from various ministries and state agencies, will also be joined by representatives from the Ministry of Defense and ministry for penitentiary system, the Justice Ministry said on August 8.