Registration Rules and Rights of International Observer Organizations
(Organic Law of Georgia “Election Code of Georgia”, article 39, 40)
An international observer organization shall be a representative of another state, an organization registered in another state or an international organization whose statute or another founding document envisages monitoring of the election and/or protection of human rights and the activity of which is based on the following internationally acknowledged principles:
- Respect the legislation and sovereignty of Georgia and international norms of human rights;
- Avoid hindering the election process;
- Political impartiality;
- Financial independence from participants of elections and transparency of financial sources;
- Adherence to the provisions acknowledged by the principles of international observation.
An international observer organization shall be registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia. An international observer organization observes elections through its representatives – international observers.
To be registered, the international organization shall submit an application letter to the CEC requesting registration no later than on the 7th day before the polling day.
- If an observer (a group of observers) is a representative of another state, he/she shall provide only application.
The CEC shall decide on the registration of the organization, observer (a group of observers) within 5 days of the submission of the application but no later than the 4th day before the polling day.
The CEC is authorized to request additional information from the organization during registration process that may confirm the compliance of activities of the organization with internationally recognized principles of paragraph 5 of article 39, organic law of Georgia “Election Code of Georgia”.
An international observer organization registered by the CEC shall submit information about the observers and copies of their identity documents to the CEC secretary no later than the 2nd day before the polling day.
The international observer can be accompanied by an interpreter, who shall be registered at the CEC together with the observer. If the observers are accompanied by the interpreters, the international organization shall submit their list to the CEC as well.
- One organization has the right to have no more than 2 international observers at the same time at election precinct.
The Secretary of the Election Commission is obliged to register the submitted observer, in compliance with the requirements of the Election Code, no later than the 2nd day after the submission of the list of observers and to hand over the observer's certificate to the observer organization, which, at the same time, is a badge.
An international observer organization registered by the CEC shall decide whether to use an electronic registration system. If the given organization wants to use the electronic registration system after the operator makes an appropriate indication to activate electronic space for the organization, (USER) and password for logging in the electronic system will be automatically generated. Then, the contract is drawn up in Georgian and/or English languages which shall define a rule of electronic communication and conditions between the CEC and international observer organization. The contract shall include data submitted by an international observer organization and the name and password of a generated user. The contract shall be printed in two copies. The contract shall be signed by the operator and receiver. One copy shall be delivered/sent to the email of a representative of an international observer organization and the second copy shall remain in the CEC. The signed contract (in PDF) shall be uploaded into the system. The signed contract shall be available in the electronic space of the international observer organization. The International observer organization shall be able to carry out relevant procedures (appoint/remove observers), familiarize itself with documentation uploaded in the system (instruction, schedule, legislative acts, etc.)
Rights of the International Observers
- Observer is entitled to:
- Attend and observe sessions of the election commission;
- Be present at the polling place at any time during polling day, unrestrictedly move within the precinct territory and observe all stages of the polling process from any point of the precinct in a free and unhindered manner;
- Replace another registered representative (if any) of the nominating organization at any time on the polling day;
- Take part in the inspection of ballot boxes before they are sealed and after they are opened;
- Observe registration of voters in the lists of voters, issuance of ballot papers and special envelopes and their certification without disrupting the polling process;
- Observe the process of registration of complaints on the polling day;
- Attend the procedures of counting votes and summarizing results;
- Observe the process of mobile voting;
- Observe the vote counting under such conditions in which ballot papers may be visible;
- Observe the process of compiling summary protocols of election results and other documents by the election commission;
- Apply with a statement (complaint) to the chairperson of the Precinct Election Commission on issues related to voting and voting procedures, requesting a response in case of a specific violation;
- Request a voter to show how many ballot papers and special envelopes he/she holds;
- Appeal against the action of the election commission in accordance with the rules established by the legislation of Georgia;
- Observe the ballot box, the placing of special envelopes into the ballot box, the opening of ballot boxes, the counting of ballot papers, and the drawing up of protocols;
- Review the summary protocols of polling and election results drawn up by election commissions, request and receive the copies of such protocols from the relevant election commission.
An observer shall not be entitled to:
- Interfere with the duties and activities of an election commission;
- Exert an undue influence upon the free expression of will of voters;
- Agitate the voter in favor of or against any election subject;
- Wear symbols and signs of any electoral subject;
- Be without a badge at the polling premises on the polling day;
- Breach other requirements of the organic law of Georgia “Election Code of Georgia”.
Election commission shall provide all conditions for the observer to implement his/her authority regarding all procedures within the election commission, including the process of counting of ballots and summarizing of the results.
In the case of hindering operations of the commission and violation of the order, Election Commission shall be authorized to make a decision on removing the international observer from the polling place in which the Commission is located.