Promoting transparency
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Promoting Transparency. International and Domestic Observers By Levan Tarkhnishvili Chairman of CEC Georgia Vienna, July 17, 2009. Elections and Main Players. The election is a complex event with different aspects and players: Political parties, media, election administration,

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Promoting transparency

Promoting Transparency

International and Domestic Observers

By Levan Tarkhnishvili

Chairman of CEC Georgia

Vienna, July 17, 2009


Elections and main players

Elections and Main Players

The election is a complex event with different aspects and players:

  • Political parties,

  • media,

  • election administration,

  • governmental bodies,

  • non-governmental, international and multinational organizations and diplomatic corpus

    are conducting various activities within the limited time period.


Transparency

Transparency

The transparency of whole process and especially of election administration is one

of the key elements for success of the election process and ensuring fair and

democratic elections.

Transparency it not just a goal, it is instrument which:

  • Increase the confidence towards election process and its results (both among players and general public)

  • Increase the public awareness

  • Establish the ground for sound decisions

  • Insure rule of law

  • Establish the early alarm system

  • Establish the ground for further improvement of system


Nature of observers

Nature of Observers

  • Observers should be independent and non-partisan

  • Observer should observe the process in long-term perspective, not just in election day

  • Observer should report evidence that he/she personally observe, not second source information

  • Observer should follow to the announced and transparent methodology

  • Observer (at least some of them) should not just observe but play the early alarm role

  • Observer through the recommendations and opinion papers should assist to the further improvement of system


Role of observers

Role of Observers

  • Monitor and observe the election process as whole and its different elements separately

  • Increase transparency

  • Indirectly assist to the process of voter information and education

  • Establish additional (or alternative) sources of election results information (PVT, PTT)

  • Deter election irregularities

  • Use of the complaint process in the post-election period

  • Evaluate the whole process

  • Develop the recommendations


How observers can contribute to transparency

How Observers Can Contribute to Transparency?

  • Local and international observers (along with media and election administration) are non-partisan players, who do not have political agenda

  • Local and international observers monitor the process and by this assist to the transparency of election administration

  • Local and international observers monitor the media and by this assist to the balance media coverage


Observation in georgia legal background

Observation in Georgia – Legal Background

Observers are entitled to:

  • Attend meetings of election commissions at all level;

  • Observe registration of voters in the voters’ lists, issuance and endorsement of ballot papers and special envelopes, without hindering the election procedures;

  • Be present in the polling stations on elections day and observe election procedures without restrictions;

  • Observe the voter counting, tabulation and preparation of summery protocols at all levels without restrictions;

  • Complain to the election commission at all level and court regarding the valuations


Observation in georgia legal background ii

Observation in Georgia – Legal Background - II

Observers are not entitled to:  

  • Interfere in the activities of the election commissions;

  • Influence the expression of voter’s free will;

  • Campaign in favour or against any candidate, political party and/or election bloc;

  • Wear any political symbols and/or badges;

    Local observer organizations are entitled to have not more than one

    representative present in one election precinct at the same time;

    International observer organizations are entitled to have not more

    than 2 representatives present in one election precinct at same time.


Observation in georgia legal background iii

Observation in Georgia – Legal Background - III

  • Local observer organization can be any local non-profit legal body registered in Georgia no later than two years prior to elections date.  At the moment of registration, the charter of this organization should include election monitoring and/or protection of human rights as part of its activities.

  • International observer organization can be any international or multinational organization or diplomatic mission which apply to the CEC for electoral accreditation no later than seven days prior to elections day


Observation in georgia statistics

Observation in Georgia – Statistics

  • During last Parliamentary elections in Georgia (May 21, 2008) election administration registered 37 local and 63 international observer organizations

  • Observers observe whole territory of Georgia, which was under control of Georgian authority

  • Local observer organization ISFED was conducted PVT and PTT; YTI-Georgia was conducted media monitoring; GYLA was observed the election administration activities

  • In total 50 complaints were submitted to the CEC, out of which 8 were satisfied

  • In total, 318 complaints were submitted to the DECs, out of which 90 were satisfied

  • In total 812 complaints were submitted to the PEC, out of which 327 were satisfied

  • Absolute majority of satisfied complains were submitted by local observer organizations


Observation possible challenges and problems

Observation: Possible Challenges and Problems

The problems started when:

  • Observers are not non-partisan and have own political agenda

  • Observers are focused on the separate elements, not on the process as whole

  • Observers use inflexible observation methodology

  • Observation methodology is not sound and transparent

  • Observers are not following the methodology

  • Observers are focused on the short-term events

  • Observers are mostly focused on quantitative data

  • Observers do not have enough knowledge and skills

  • Observers do not understand the political, cultural and other aspects of country which they observe

  • Observers do not have future-base approach


Possible solution

Possible Solution

  • Code of conduct for local observers

  • Transparency of observation process

  • Building Capacity of the Local Level

  • Long and Short Term Training for Observers

  • Briefing of International Observers

  • Cooperation among all main players


Main actors

Main Actors

  • Central Election Commission

  • Local NGOs

  • Political Parties

Partners

  • Venice Commission

  • OSCE/ODHIR

  • International Organizations


Thank you for your attention

Thank You for Your Attention


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