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Technical Advice to the CEC for Parliamentary  Elections

Objective:  To provide in-house technical advice to the CEC senior management.

A DEC Chairperson studies the election implementation timetable distributed at the CEC coordination meeting for all 75 DEC Chairs held in Batumi on 14-15 February 2004 (OSCE funded)


POST-ELECTION UPDATE:

The Election Day monitoring organized by the GEAP and the analysis of both international and domestic observer organizations showed that great progress has been achieved in a relatively short time for the compilation of improved voter lists. Also, the functioning of the precinct designed by the Central Election Commission to demonstrate that non-partisan precinct election commissions can successfully replace larger, politically appointed commissions, proved successful. Visited by two GEAP monitoring teams as well as by most observer organizations, the ‘pilot’ electoral precinct, composed of eleven students instead of fifteen political appointees, was deemed one of the most efficiently run electoral precinct. Importantly, all of this precinct’s commission members had been trained, unlike in the case of the rest of precinct commissions throughout Georgia. The overall success of this project will be used by the CEC as a basis for the development of a comprehensive reform of the election administration structures in the aftermath of these elections.

Of notable relevance to the commended improvement in the conduct of these elections was the enhanced communication between the CEC and the lower level Election Commissions. Already partially achieved for the January Presidential Election, adequate levels of communication leading to successful implementation of election operations were reached, among other, through the organization of the District Election Commissioner’s retreat, organized at the recommendation and with the support of the GEAP.

In the context of wrapping up the Parliamentary Elections, GEAP advice on restructuring the internal administration structure was provided and will be accompanied by recommendations for the design of an enhanced results protocol and the design of the voter lists. In an attempt to institutionalize the improvement achieved by this election administration, a number of initiatives have been planned by the expert in co-ordination with the CEC. In addition to the voter survey, which will allow for an even higher degree of transparency of the CEC’s work, a post-election DEC retreat and a roundtable conference to bring together all actors and stakeholders having contributed to the organization and monitoring of the two election processes for which the GEAP was established. The round-table conference will aim at summing up best practices and lessons learned from the Presidential and Parliamentary elections organized by the new CEC in 2004 and at providing this Commission with the necessary recommendations to serve as basis for a much needed election legislation and administrative structures reform.

 

18 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

In order to ensure that all citizens of Georgia with the right to vote are enfranchised on Election Day, the CEC, with the support of local non-governmental organizations, has developed a project whereby special voting procedures are in place to allow voters with visual impairments to cast a ballot without assistance. The OSCE drafted recommendations and provided advice to the CEC Project Co-ordinator on the development of the project.

The CEC has also commenced discussions with a local statistics company to develop a voter survey which will enable the election administration to better evaluate its performance for the 28 March elections. The results of the voter survey could also be used to strengthen the basis for the future legislative and structural reform of the election administration. OSCE technical expertise in defining the needs for the voter survey will be accompanied by specific recommendations for the design of the questionnaire.

 

10 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

While technical preparations for Election Day are well underway, the Central Election Commission has commenced negotiations with various state agencies for a post-election long-term reform process. For this purpose, the OSCE-GEAP expert advised the Central Election Commission on objectives and benchmarks for reform, covering the strategy for the revision of the electoral legislative framework and the strategy for the institutional restructuring of the election administration. With the support of the expert, a comprehensive strategy for reform was developed for public presentation at the Central Election Commission session of 4 March and at a Press Conference on 10 March.

Accompanying the initiative for long-term reform, an experimental project was designed by the Central Election Commission and supported by the GEAP to demonstrate that non-partisan precinct election commissions can successfully replace over-sized, politically appointed commissions. To this effect, an eleven member commission was appointed on 28 February and has since successfully started its activities.

 

3 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

On 28-30 February 2004, the expert participated in the Training of Trainers organized by the CEC, IFES and UNDP, to assist the CEC with detailed information on procedural matters. Also, technical assistance continues to be provided to the Central Election Commission on issues related to a comprehensive strategy for reform. The assistance will continue with support for a roundtable, organized in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, where the CEC will announce their strategy for reform, as well as the importance to have a joint plan with the Civil Registration Department of the Ministry of Justice for a sustainable development of a civil/voter register.

 

24 FEBRUARY 2004 UPDATE:

The CEC has allocated the necessary office space for the Election Expert. Upon the advisor's recommendation, on 14-15 February 2004 the Central Election Commission (CEC) held a coordination meeting in Batumi with the Chairpersons of the District Election Commissions (DECs). The CEC updated DEC Chairs on activities of the CEC and solicited input from the DEC Chairs on how to deal with different issues. The event was funded through this project in order to support the CEC to collect input from the DEC level of the election administration. It is envisaged that a similar post-election meeting will be held to evaluate the functioning of the election administration. Also, the expert participates in weekly Technical Advisory Boards held by the CEC on Voter Registration issues. Advise was given on issues related to the result protocol sheet development and to the strategy for reform beyond the Parliamentary elections.

 

11 FEBRUARY 2004 UPDATE:

The CEC has already allocated the necessary office space and negotiations on the details of a MoU between the OSCE and the CEC are ongoing.

 

BACKGROUND

Through the provision of an Election Expert and an Election Assistant hired by the Mission and based in the CEC, technical expertise accompanied by financial support will be provided to the CEC senior management. Special consideration will be given to increasing sustainability of operations, building a confidence in the voter list and creating a permanent CEC technical apparatus as well as supporting the successful transfer of registration data between the relevant authorities.

PHASE II

Project Manager

Ecaterina Slavu

Implemented by:

OSCE

Total Budget

at EUR 50,000

 

 

OSCE Mission to Georgia OSCE website

OSCE Mission to Georgia • Krtsanisi Govermental Residence No. 5 • Tbilisi, Georgia • Tel./Fax: (+995 32) 910610
• e-mail: pm-ge@osce.org