NDI Concludes First Pre-Election Assessment Mission in Georgia and Presents Recommendations Ahead of October 26 Elections

Sunday, February 25, 2024

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Tbilisi, Georgia - The National Democratic Institute (NDI) deployed the first of two pre-election assessment missions (PEAM) to Georgia from February 19 to 25, 2024 in advance of the parliamentary elections to be held on October 26, 2024.

The delegation’s purpose was to accurately and impartially assess the broader political environment within which the elections will take place; review electoral preparations already underway; offer practical recommendations to promote more inclusive, transparent and accountable elections; and to demonstrate the international community’s support for credible elections and democratic governance in Georgia.

The report presented today highlights that with eight months until parliamentary elections and six months until campaigns begin, there are positive signs, including broad public support for democracy, human rights and the rule of law; sustained positive public impression of the police; as well as a significant and maintained improvement in public perceptions of petty corruption; efforts to improve transparency by resuming the publication of government decrees; and innovations to improve the efficiency of election day processes. At the same time, there are serious challenges to electoral integrity that need to be addressed, such as polarization, verbal attacks on civil society (including citizen observers), fears about the possible misuse of  administrative resources for political advantage, and concerns around the implementation of new electoral technologies.

“These will be the country's first elections since gaining European candidacy status. They will provide the Georgian Government, and all political stakeholders, the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the principles of inclusive, transparent and accountable elections as well as their adherence to democratic values,” stated Ambassador Per Eklund, former Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia. “International and citizen observation plays a critical role in promoting credible elections and demonstrating the importance of global democratic norms.”

Delegation member and NDI Regional Director for Eurasia, Eva Busza, noted that “there remains significant time ahead of the October 2024 Parliamentary elections to build an enabling environment around elections that can ensure that they are a step forward on the Georgian democratic journey.”

The delegation visited Georgia well before election day recognizing the importance of the electoral environment and pre-election preparations on the overall credibility of an election process. During its stay in Tbilisi, the members met with a wide array of government officials and election stakeholders, including the Chair of the Central Election Commission (CEC), the President and Prime Minister, the Deputy Minister of the Interior, the Head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), leaders of ruling and opposition political parties, civic organizations, non-partisan citizen observation organizations, representatives of state and private media from across the political spectrum, as well as diplomatic missions and development partners.

The delegation carried out its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and its accompanying Code of Conduct for International Election Observers, with reference to international and regional standards for elections (including opinions of the Venice Commission) and in compliance with Georgian laws. A second PEAM will be conducted before election day to assess the progress and the implementation of recommendations ahead of the October 26 elections. 

The delegation included: Ann Linde, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden; Ambassador Per Eklund, former Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia; Michael Posner, former Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State; Daniel Gottfried, Legislative and Policy Analyst for Chairman Cardin at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Eva Busza, NDI Regional Director for Eurasia; and Richard L. Klein, NDI Global Director of Elections.

NDI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. NDI has observed approximately 200 elections in every region in the world, including elections in Georgia since 1992.  

The delegation was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).



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