Congress adopts Report on municipal elections in Georgia

Strasbourg, 28.10.2010 – The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe yesterday adopted a Report, a Resolution and a Recommendation following a debate on the municipal elections held in Georgia on 30 May 2010. The Report, presented by Günther Krug (Germany, SOC), was the result of an election observation mission of the Congress, with the participation of the EU Committee of the Regions.

The Report concludes that the municipal elections - which comprised the first direct election of the Mayor of Tbilisi - have shown evident progress towards meeting European standards. According to the Congress observers’ opinion, the election adminsitration organised these elections in a professional, transparent and inclusive manner. The run-up to the elections was characterised by a competitive atmosphere and substantive issues. The campaign took place in a mostly calm environment. The Report also underlines that the quality of voters' lists had considerably improved compared to previous elections in Georgia. Election day was generally calm and the process well-managed in the vast majority of polling stations. Furthermore, transparency of the electoral process had improved due to the presence of a large number of domestic observers.

However, a number of shortcomings in the election environment remains to be tackled in order to consolidate progress and enhance public trust before the next national elections in Georgia. Concerning the pre-electoral situation, the Congress observers point to reports of intimidation and bullying tactics, as well as misuse of administrative resources for campaign purposes. In addition, deficiences in the legal framework and shortcomings in respect of the appeal procedure are referred to in the Report.