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2018 Presidential Election

First Interim Report of the Pre-Election Monitoring

(August 1 - September 8)

13 September 2018

This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Views expressed in this publication belong solely to
the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States
Government or the NED.
Table of Contents

I. Introduction .........................................................................................................................................2
II. Key Findings ........................................................................................................................................2
III. Recommendations .........................................................................................................................4
IV. Electoral Administration .............................................................................................................5
Appointment of Temporary Members of DECs.................................................................................5
V. Media environment ........................................................................................................................9
VI. Intimidation/harassment on alleged political grounds ......................................................12
VII. Physical confrontation ...............................................................................................................12
VIII. Attempts of possible vote buying and misuse of administrative resources ............13
IX. Interference with pre-election campaigning .......................................................................15
X. Violation of the rule of distributing printed campaign materials..................................15
XI. Budget amendments in municipalities ..................................................................................16
XII. The monitoring mission and Methodology ............................................................................23

I. Introduction

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) has been conducting long-term
observation of October 28, 2018 Presidential Election of Georgia since August 1, 2018. Sixty-nine long-
term observers of the organization have been involved in the nationwide monitoring starting from August
10. The monitoring is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and
the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). First interim report of the pre-election monitoring
predominantly covers the period from August 1 to September 8, as well as developments that began to
unfold before August 1 and continued during the monitoring period. This report also contains initial
assessment of the process of composition of precinct electoral commissions (PECs) by the District
Electoral Commission (DEC), which lasted until September 12.

II. Key Findings

On August 1, the President of Georgia set October 28 as the date for the ordinary presidential election of
Georgia. The official pre-election campaign began on August 28, 60 days prior to the election, however
some political parties and future candidates had already began to actively meet with voters before the pre-
election campaign officially started.
ISFED identified the following incidents during the reporting period: 1 case of physical confrontation, 1
instance of alleged political intimidation/harassment, 8 facts containing attempts of misuse of
administrative resources and vote buying, 3 cases of interference with campaigning and 1 instance of
violating the rules of printing campaign materials. Additionally, 7 various incidents in the process of
composition of electoral commissions were observed. Instances of possible mobilization of budget
resources in 31 municipalities were also notable.
Significant challenges during this reporting period were selection competitions of temporary members of
DECs and precinct commissioners. The CEC selected temporary members of DECs within the time limits
prescribed by the Election Code. ISFED found that among temporary members selected for 73 DECs, 14
were related to officials of the electoral administration or other public officials, and in 7 cases
supporters or activists of the Georgian Dream were elected to district commissions.
Appointment of party activists as professional members of DECs jeopardizes trust towards electoral
commissions and calls impartiality of the electoral administration into question. As for DEC members
family ties to the electoral administration or other public officials, while this may not serve as grounds for
disqualifying DEC membership candidates, frequent cases of appointment of relatives as temporary
members and ambiguous process of decision-making creates suspicions about nepotism.
The process of selection of PEC members was also problematic. Announcement of the competition was
preceded by release of a recording of a phone conversation of Krtsanisi DEC Chair, which attracted much
public attention. According to this recording, apparently the DEC Chair confirmed that he agreed PEC
candidacies with the chief of the Georgian Dream local office. Following the release of the recordings, the
DEC Chair resigned.
ISFED found that requests to interview PEC membership candidates were made in 45 districts by DEC
members appointed by the United National Movement (UNM), however none of these requests were met
and none of the districts held interviews in commission as a whole.
UNM-appointed members were allowed to interview candidates independently, however majority of
candidates did not show up for an interview. ISFED found out that in some districts representatives of the
Georgian Dream were calling candidates for PEC membership and urging them not to participate in
interviews. In some districts interviews were disrupted by other commission members and verbal
confrontations took place.

ISFED found that selection of PEC members followed the same pattern in all 73 districts. Members
appointed by the UNM and the European Georgia in DECs refused to participate in meetings of their
respective commissions. As a result, only 9-10 DEC members participated in voting for selection of
candidates. There was a trend of professional and Georgian Dream-appointed members of DECs mostly
voting for the same candidates, while DEC members appointed by the Patriots’ Alliance of Georgia voted
differently. In 25 DECs commission members made decisions based on lists prepared beforehand but they
explained that they had made a draft list of candidates after shortlisting applications.
ISFED identified different municipal events that were allegedly organized for winning support of voters,
which creates risks of vote buying and misuse of administrative resources. ISFED also detected
possible involvement of charitable and religious organizations in campaigns, in violation of the Election
Code that prohibits involvement of such organizations in campaigning.
Similar to the pre-election campaign of the 2017 local self-government elections, significant budget
amendments were made in municipalities. Under the law, beginning from August 29 initiation of new
social and infrastructural projects and corresponding amendments to the State, Ajara A/R and local
governance budgets is prohibited. It may be due to this fact that since May significant budget amendments
were actively introduced in many municipalities, while social and infrastructural projects provided in the
State and self-government budgets are planned in a way that their main activities often coincide with the
campaign period. This creates impression that the scaling up and planning of such projects aims to win
over the voters ahead of the election. Consequently, large-scale changes in local budgets give rise to
doubts about misuse of administrative resources and it does not contribute to creation of level playing field
ahead of the election.
ISFED disapproves of the decision of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) to
impose a fine on Rustavi 2 TV for airing paid political advertising during non-electoral period without
notifying the regulatory authority. Such obligation to broadcasters exists during the pre-election period
only, 50 days prior to the election. The decision may have a chilling effect on broadcasters as they may
potentially refrain from airing political/pre-election advertisement during non-electoral period.
Another dangerous precedent is the instruction provided to broadcasters by the GNCC that mandates
television companies to verify credibility of election-related public opinion poll results. Otherwise, they
may be subjected to monetary fines. With the said decision, the GNCC calls into question its own function
to ensure strengthening of media pluralism, equal media environment and access of voters to information.
Regarding media pluralism, recent developments involving Iberia TV are potentially menacing. Founders
of the company are accusing the authorities of offering a deal to give up Iberia TV in exchange for
resolving their financial problems.
ISFED also finds that the decision of the Public Broadcaster management to unilaterally terminate
employment contracts of some of its employees is risky and ill-founded, since it minimizes employment
guarantees for other reporters that work for this channel, which may affect their impartiality and increase
their dependence on political opinions of the GPB management.

III. Recommendations

The Electoral Administration should:

• at all levels of electoral commissions, prevent the attempts of advancing political interests and
ensure that commission members do not engage in communication with political parties or their

The GNCC should:

• issue a clarification and change its requirement to broadcasters about verifying credibility of public
opinion polls.
• contribute to reinforcing media pluralism, guarantee equal media environment and voters’ right to
access information, instead of imposing disproportionate requirements on broadcasters.

Political parties and electoral subjects should:

• refrain from mobilizing their supporters to attend public meetings of opposing parties/candidates,
prevent their supporters from disrupting meetings and campaign activities of other electoral
• avoid all those forms of interaction with voters that creates risks of vote buying.
• refrain from giving political assignments to party-appointed members of electoral commissions
and ensure political neutrality of commission members.

Charitable and religious organizations should:

• abide by the requirements of the Election Code and not engage in campaigning in favor of a party
or a candidate.

Local self-government bodies should:

• prevent campaigning by civil servants during working hours.
• observe political neutrality, prohibit abuse of budgetary and human resources for advancing party
• inform public servants of local self-government bodies about their rights and responsibilities in the
electoral process.

IV. Electoral Administration

Appointment of Temporary Members of DECs

For the 2018 presidential election, under the August 1 decree of the Central Election Commission (CEC),
competition for selection of temporary members of DECs was announced. Notably, applications for
participation in the competition were accepted for two days after adoption of the decree – on August 2 and
3. 1 On August 4, the CEC selected 72 DEC members from among 173 applicants 2 and adopted an decree
on their appointment. 3
Later, the union of political parties Power Is In Unity released a statement about relatives of persons
appointed as DEC members and their affiliation with political parties.4
According to information obtained by ISFED LTOs, temporary members appointed by the CEC in 14
districts are related to officials of the electoral administration or other public officials, while in 7 cases
activists of the Georgian Dream were appointed as temporary members.
Appointment of party activists as professional members of DECs violates the principle of political
neutrality of the electoral administration, jeopardizes trust towards the electoral commissions ahead of the
presidential election and calls impartiality of the electoral administration into question.
Even though appointment of relatives of other officials of the electoral administration as temporary
members of DECs does not contain any immediate signs of malfeasance, ambiguous process of decision-
making creates suspicions about nepotism.
More specifically, it is unclear how the CEC members were able to consider 173 applications in 24 hours,
evaluate applicants’ professional skills, qualification and capacities solely based on documents submitted
and without interviewing candidates. Whether the decisions made by the CEC about individual candidates
were reasoned and correct remained unknown for relevant stakeholders.
Competition that follows such rules clearly creates questions about whether the decisions that have been
made are correct and fair. ISFED believes that in absence of interviews and criteria for evaluation of
candidates, it is impossible to evaluate applicants adequately and make reasoned decisions.
Information about family ties of individuals appointed as DEC members:
1. Akhalkalaki – Narine Mosoiani – a relative of the chair of Akhalkalaki DEC; employee of the
financial service of Akhalkalaki City Hall;
2. Akhmeta – Zurab Shinjikashvili – brother of CEC election trainer, Andro Shinjikashvili;
3. Gori – Nana Gelashvili – married to the chairperson of Kareli DEC, Zaza Nadirashvili;
4. Tetritskaro – Nato Chaduneli – sister-in-law of the chair of the Tetritskaro DEC, Tamuna
5. Telavi – Leila Sibashvili – a relative of the CEC Chair Tamar Zhvania;
6. Krtsanisi – Tamila Robakidze – wife of Vake DEC Chair Tamaz Poladashvili;
7. Ozurgeti – Tamta Giorgadze – married to Ozurgeti DEC Chair;
8. Saburtalo – Maia Petviashvili – wife of then chair of Krtsanisi DEC, Davit Petviashvili;
9. Sagarejo – Anna Tatrishvili – sister of Zaal Tatrishvili, an employee of the CEC division for
relations with electoral commissions and information management;
10. Samgori – Nana Tsindeliani – married to an employee of the CEC financial department’s unit for
management of material/technical resources;
11. Kareli – Maia Aleksidze – wife of the deputy chair of Gori DEC;
12. Keda – Mziuri Shavadze – sister of Batumi DEC Chair Tsiala Shavadze;
13. Tskaltubo – Salome Kajaia – sister of Deputy Chair of Tskaltubo DEC Kristine Kajaia;
14. Lentekhi – Mariana Bendeliani – married to the chief of Mestia State Security Service.

1 See the decree on the announcement of a competition:

2 Competition for selection of temporary commission member in Gardabani District was announced for the second time, because
the candidate that was nominated could not secure necessary number of votes.
3 See the CEC decision:
4 See the press-conference of Giorgi Vashadze:

Information about political activity of individuals appointed to DECs:
1. Abasha – Zurab Topuria – he is known as an activist of the Georgian Dream;
2. Gurjaani – Tornike Tsintsalashvili – Georgian Dream activist and supporter. 5 In 2014,
Tsintsalashvili was harassing PEC members, forcing them to hand him voter lists illegally. A
report of administrative offences was drawn up against Tsintsalashvili in connection to this fact;
3. Lanchkhuti – Mariam Kupradze – active member of the Georgian Dream and a specialist of
Office of Municipality Sakrebulo;
4. Ninotsminda – Karine Terteriani – activist of the Georgian Dream;
5. Kobuleti – Ia Beridze – she served as an assistant of Kobuleti DEC Chair during the 2016
parliamentary elections, and as a temporary DEC member during 2017 local self-government
members. Ia Beridze is married to director of Kobuleti Railway Station and she is a supporter of
the Georgian Dream;
6. Chokhatauri – Gocha Tsintsadze – he served as UNM-appointed member of DEC in 2012; he
was appointed as a DEC member by the party Industry Will Save Georgia in 2013-2014 and by the
party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia in 2016. In 2017, he was hired by the DEC as an
assistant based on a contract and was responsible for providing material/technical support.
7. Khelvachauri – Koba Salukvadze – activist of the Georgian Dream party.

Competitions for selection of professional members of PECs

Announcement of competition for selection of PEC members for the presidential election was the main
item on the agenda of the meetings held in DECs on August 29, 2018.
Through the monitoring ISFED found that in 45 districts 6 UNM-appointed members requested interviews
with applicants at district electoral commissions. These demands were denied in all districts; UNM
members received similar formal response from meeting chairs. In particular, they were informed that the
requirement of interviewing participants of the competition for selection of PEC members was not
provided in the Election Code or in any other sublegal acts.
Notably, UNM-appointed members of DECs in Telavi and Tetritskaro provided ISFED LTOs with similar
letters, which according to them was an instruction provided by the CEC to DECs 7 in case UNM-
appointed members demanded interviews with participants of competition for selection of PEC members.
Later UNM-appointed members in all DECs were allowed to schedule interviews with applicants and they
were provided with appropriate venue for interviews. In some cases, interviews were also conducted by
DEC members appointed by the European Union. Interview questions mostly concerned the Election Day
procedures. In some districts, interviews were disrupted by other DEC members and verbal confrontation
took place.
Majority of candidates did not show up for these interviews. ISFED found that in 12 districts 8 none of the
applicants invited for an interview showed up, while in 15 districts only a few applicants appeared. 9
ISFED found that in many districts PEC membership candidates received calls from the Georgian Dream
representatives and were told not to participate in interviews.

5 See the pre-election monitoring report of ISFED for the 2014 local self-government elections, p.17
6 The UNM requested interviews with candidates in the following districts: Adigeni, Aspindza, Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe,

Akhmeta, Batumi, Baghdati, Bolnisi, Borjomi, Gardabani, Gldani, Gori, Gurjaani, Didube, Dmanisi, Vake, Zestaponi, Tetritskaro,
Telavi, Isani, Kaspi, Krtsanisi, Lagodekhi, Lanchkhuti, Marneuli, Nadzaladevi, Ozurgeti, Sagarejo, Samgori, Samtredia,
Sighnaghi, Poti, Keda, Kobuleti, Kutaisi, Kvareli, Shuakhevi, Chokhatauri, Chughureti, Tsalenjikha, Tsalka, Tskaltubo,
Khelvachauri, Khoni, Khulo.
7 Text of the instruction: “Instruction about precinct election and a general response that we will need, in order to provide a

reasoned response if someone demands an interview with candidates. If they demand it during the meeting, you should not put this
issue to vote. The law does not envisage interviews. If someone wants to interview candidates, they can do it somewhere else.”
8 Abasha, Baghdati, Borjomi, Vani, Telavi, Isani, Sachkhere, Senaki, Tkibuli, Kareli, Kvarlei, Shuakhevi.
9 Akhmeta – 1 applicant, Gori – 5 applicants, Gurjaani – 10, Dedoplistskaro – 3, Zestaponi – 4, Lagodekhi – 1, Marneuli – 10,

Martvili – 4, Ozurgeti – 10, Sagarejo – 3, Samtredia – 21, Sighnaghi – 5, Poti – 3, Kutaisi – 6, Khashuri – 5.
ISFED welcomes the fact that in Samtredia DEC interviews were attended by all other DEC members
alongside the UNM-appointed member. 21 out of 190 applicants showed up for an interview.
On September 11-12, DECs had meetings for selection of PEC members.
ISFED found that in all 73 districts the process of selection followed the same pattern. In the beginning of
meetings, DEC members appointed by the UNM and the European Georgia refused to participate in
meetings, explaining that the process of voting was not real because candidates had been pre-selected. As a
result, only 9-10 DEC members participated in voting. There was a trend of professional and Georgian
Dream-appointed members of DECs mostly voting for the same candidates, while DEC members
appointed by the Patriots’ Alliance of Georgia voted differently.
In 25 DECs commission members made decisions based on lists prepared beforehand 10 but they explained
that they had made a draft list of candidates after shortlisting applications.
ISFED welcomes that Tkibuli DEC Chair announced names of four individuals that had been subjected to
disciplinary liability during previous elections and urged DEC members not to vote in their favor. The
DEC Chair cited the CEC recommendation as an argument. In the recommendation the CEC urged DECs
to refrain from electing as PEC membership candidates that had been previously imposed with
disciplinary/administrative liability. Nevertheless, one individual that had been previously imposed with
disciplinary liability was elected as a PEC member in Tkibuli District.

Incidents during the process of selection of professional members of PECs

On September 10, in Martvili District, a clash and a verbal confrontation erupted during interview of the
UNM-appointed member with applicants. As soon as the interview began, DEC members created a tense
environment and started loudly saying that the interview was pointless.
UNM-appointed member of the DEC announced that all registered candidates had been notified about
interviews. However, only 8 appeared to the interview. Four of them entered the interview room while
others left the commission premises after seeing the conflict environment.
DEC members expressly informed candidates that had appeared for an interview that the interviews were
held at the sole initiative of UNM representative and they were free to refuse to attend it. DEC members
essentially did not allow the UNM representative to hold interviews and ask questions. DEC members
commented on and criticized each and every interview question, saying that the questions were irrelevant
for candidate’s skills and experience and they were insulting. As a result, interviews grew into a verbal
confrontation between the UNM-appointed member of the DEC and other DEC members. The DEC chair
was actively involved in the confrontation. The UNM-appointed member of the commission kept urging to
other members of the DEC to let him ask questions and conduct an interview but to no avail.
Out of four applicants that entered the interview room, first left in protest and openly told Ekaterine
Tsotsonava, temporary member of the DEC appointed by the Central Election Commission, that she was
disrupting the interview. Tsotsonava repeatedly asked the applicant if she was certain that she wanted to
have an interview with the UNM representative. The applicant, who was irritated by Tsotsonava’s
questions, responded that otherwise she would not have shown up for an interview. An intense
conversation between the applicant and the commission member ensued. As a result, the candidate left the
Regarding another candidate that had appeared for interview, the DEC chair announced that it was a shame
to ask questions related to electoral procedures to someone of his experience. This was followed by an
intense debate and argument among commission members.

10Akhmeta, Batumi, Gorji, Gurjaani, Dedoplistskaro, Dmanisi, Zestaponi, Zugdidi, Tetritskaro, Telavi, Isani, Kaspi, Lagodekhi,
Lanchkhuti, Nadzaladevi, Ozurgeti, Sagarjo, Samtredia, Sighnaghi, Tkibuli, Kutaisi, Kvarlei, Khashuri, Khelvachauri, Khulo.
Other applicants who had appeared for an interview chose not to participate in it, after the DEC members
kept repeatedly pointing out that the interview was the sole initiative of the UNM representative.

Verbal confrontation among DEC members in the process of interviewing candidates also took place in
Marneuli District. This time the confrontation was between Lasha Kvelidze, DEC member appointed by
the European Georgia, and permanent member of the commission Irakli Kvaratskhelia. Only 10
candidates showed up for interview, 7 members of the commission attended the interview process.

ISFED found that candidates for PEC membership in Chokhatauri DEC were contacted by different
representatives of the Georgian Dream, members of the local representative body, City Hall
representatives, and warned not to appear for the interview scheduled by the UNM. According to one of
the applicants, she was warned that a UNM representative would call her and she should not pick up.

In Baghdati District, one of the applicants Dali Sanikani informed ISFED observer that she did not go to
the interview because she is in “41” and “girls of 41 do not go [to the interview]”. This reinforces
suspicions that candidates for the position of a professional member of the commission view themselves as
the Georgian Dream-appointed members of the electoral commission.

As they submitted their applications to Lentekhi DEC, some candidates stated that the Georgian Dream’s
office had promised them that they would be elected as PEC secretary and chair. ISFED observer
interviewed Giorgi Gazdeliani, chair of Municipality Sakrebulo and the local party organization, who
categorically denied these reports.

On September 2, the CEC reported that during a PEC competition in Lanckhuti District several applicants
contacted their hotline and reported that they had received provocative phone calls from unidentified
individuals. According to these reports, the applicants were contacted by someone on behalf of “the
curator” and provided them with false information about the competition.
ISFED representative contacted the DEC chair and his deputy to for detailed information. They stated that
they knew nothing about the statement of the CEC. Executive secretary of the Georgian Dream regional
organization Gogi Kheladze refrained from commenting on this issue. Instead, he suggested that the
ISFED representative contact Lolita Urushadze, the Georgian Dream representative.
Lolita Urushadze informed ISFED observer that someone alleging to be a regional representative of the
Georgian Dream under the name Irakli Menagharishvili had made phone calls to the following three
participants of the competition: Tinatin Gogelia, Natia Khishtovani and Nato Julakidze. He asked them
questions about acquaintance with Lolita Urushadze and the rule of selection of candidates for PEC
Tinatin Gogelia and Nato Julakidze confirm that they had the phone conversation, however according to
them they do not know Urushadze. They also said that they had never been a representative of any party
and that they have been working as DEC-appointed members of precinct commission for many years.
ISFED found out that the phone number used to make the calls to the applicants belongs to Givi
Tsintsadze, who is a representative of the National Democratic Party and a supporter of Grigol Vashadze.
“I do not know what you are talking about, perhaps someone else used my phone,” – Tsintsadze told
ISFED representative during an interview.

On September 8, in the second half of the day, after interviews with applicants was over, the UNM-
appointed member of the district commission, Mzia Tsereteli received a phone call from the following
number - 577365551. The caller identified himself as Koba and said that he was calling on behalf of Levan
Varshalomidze. He wanted to know about the situation in the district and urged Mzia Tsereteli to stage a
provocation involving applicants. According to Davit Mzhavanadze, head of the UNM office in Ozurgeti,
to their knowledge the phone number belongs to an employee of the State Security Service.

V. Media environment

GNCC’s risky requirements related to publishing of public opinion polls

On August 8, 2018, the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) sent a formal letter to
all broadcasters and media outlets to provide them with information about their responsibilities during the
pre-election period.
The letter also states that “the Commission addresses all broadcasters and media outlets, especially those
who plan to commission a public opinion poll by relevant research organizations and therefore, are able
to double-check credibility of polls that they commission, to draw their attention to requirements of
subparagraphs “a”-“f” of paragraph 11 of art.51 of the Election Code, because the Commission is
obligated to take measures provided in the applicable legislation in an event of failure to fulfill these
If broadcasters fail to fulfill the requirements, the GNCC is warning them that they may be subjected to an
administrative liability.
Para.11 of Art.51 of the Election Code of Georgia provides mandatory requirements regarding public
opinion polls in order to prevent political manipulations by public opinion poll results. 11 The Election
Code outlines a set of criteria for credibility, however it does not establish an obligation of broadcasters to
check credibility of public opinion poll results themselves, as outlined by the GNCC.
Setting such obligation for broadcasters creates the threat of prompting them not to publish public opinion
poll results. It also creates the risk of disclosing personal information of opinion poll participants.

11 More specifically:
 A public opinion poll should be based on the acknowledged scientific methodology of representative random selection
that provides 95% confidence of results with a margin of error not exceeding 3%;
 it should be issued after double-checking the credibility of the methodology of the public opinion poll and objectivity of
its results;
 it should be feasible to provide convincing scientific explanation if there are significant discrepancies or changes in the
results of the same or other comparative public opinion polls;
 it should not constitute a tool for manipulating public opinion or fundraising and it shall not be conducted via telephone,
mail, and/or internet;
 it should be based on transparent methodology that enables providing an independent double-check of the results;
 while publishing the results, the following shall be specified: an organization that conducted a public opinion poll;
individual or organization that ordered or funded a public opinion poll; the exact formulation and sequence of questions
put in a public opinion poll; the time of conducting field opinion poll; the number of individuals interviewed and the
method of selection; in what area or among what category of people the selection was conducted; whether the survey is
based on the opinions of all respondents; the number of respondents who refused to participate in the poll, who did not
answer a question, or who could not be interviewed; the sample size; the margin of error; information about any other
factors that might have caused a significant impact on the results.
Fining of Rustavi 2 by the GNCC
On August 15-16, 2018, the GNCC conducted monitoring of Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company. The
monitoring found that the broadcaster aired an advertisement of the European Georgia. In the video, one
of the members of the party, Davit Bakradze is addressing supporters against the background of the party
symbols and is making election promises. The same video also shows the sequence number of the political
movement Movement for Freedom – European Georgia for the 2018 presidential election and indicates
that this is a paid political advertisement.
The GNCC legal department explained that by airing the pre-election advertisement of the European
Georgia, Rustavi 2 violated art.50 of the organic law of Georgia – the Election Code of Georgia.
According to the Commission, after airing the advertisement Rustavi 2 did not provide the GNCC with
information outlined in the said article. 12
According to the Commission, this amounts to violation of the rule of airing a pre-election political
advertisement. A report of administrative offences is drawn up in such cases and sent to court for
consideration. Citing the said grounds, the Commission made a decision to prepare a report of
administrative offences against Rustavi 2 and transfer it to court.
Art.50 of the Election Code provides the regulations for election campaigning media coverage. It obligates
television companies that hold broadcasting license to weekly submit to the GNCC certain information if
they allocate their airtime for pre-election campaigning and political advertising. 13
However, the obligation provided in art.50 of the Code becomes effective after no later than the fiftieth
day before polling, meaning that the broadcasters become obligated to submit the information to the
GNCC for the presidential election starting from September 8. This is also provided in the schedule of
events of the Central Election Commission. 14
The rule prescribed by the Election Code, which outlines obligations of owners of broadcasters when they
air political advertisement or election campaign events, imperatively sets the timeframe. In particular, no
later than from the 50th day before the polling day broadcasters become obligated to submit to the GNCC
certain information on periodic basis. The legislation does not set any conditions as to what happens if
political and/or pre-election advertisement is aired earlier. Therefore, the decision of the GNCC and the
established practice runs against the stipulation of art.50 of the Election Code and this may significantly
damage broadcasters that have aired political and/or pre-election advertisement in abidance by the law but
since it was before the date set by the legislation they did not submit the information to the GNCC.

The Case of Iberia TV

On February 20, 2018, head of the information service of Iberia TV Vakho Khuzmiashvili announced live
on TV that Omega Group and companies that the conglomerate consists of were facing a serious financial
blow, which created significant financial problems for Iberia TV because Omega Group is the principal
benefactor of Iberia TV. 15

The issue resurfaced in early September, when one of the founders of the Omega Group, Georgian MP
from the Patriots’ Alliance Nato Chkheidze announced on September 7 16 that the authorities had offered
them to solve Omega Group’s financial problems in exchange for them giving up Iberia TV. Notably,
neither Nato Chkheidze nor Zaza Okuashvili, the founder, has provided names of individuals that have
demanded that they give up the television company.

See an excerpt from the minutes of the meeting of the GNNC, dated August 23, 2018
13 More specifically, from and until what date and at what intervals the airtime is allotted, its duration and schedule of the allotted
airtime during one day, the airtime fee, and service provided;
14 See the schedule of election events of the Central Election Commission of Georgia, p.4
15 See Netgazeti article:
16 See:

Later Rustavi 2 released an audio recording of a conversation possibly between Zaza Okuashvili and
former Minister of Sports and Youth – Levan Kipiani. Based on this recording, Levan Kipiani is allegedly
speaking on behalf of the authorities about the terms of “taking care of” financial problems of the Omega
Group, stating: “Everyone says - Iberia is worse than Rustavi 2. They are irritated more [by it]. It is
difficult when you are talking about concession [with the authorities] while the television is doing these
things.” 17

Since September 7, Iberia TV has been broadcasting in an emergency regime. On September 10, its
broadcasting was suspended for 3 hours, while reporters held a protest march from Iberia TV offices to the
Government Chancellery.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Omega Group’s cigarette production company – OGT Ltd has
accumulated GEL 51.717 million in debt in outstanding excise taxes, and it is the only company that owes
over 50 million laris to the budget. Because of its failure to pay the debt, it has been subjected to coercive
measures – encashment and attachment.18

ISFED believes that during the pre-election period existence of media, which is critical towards the ruling
political groups, is principally important. Media independence and diversity of editorial policy is an
important guarantor of keeping public informed and therefore, of free and fair electoral environment.

Changes in GPB employee contracts

According to the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) trade unions, in the last week of August nearly 150
employees of the Broadcaster received an offer from the administration about new terms of employment.
The deadline for consenting to these terms was September 4. The proposed new terms concern employee
working conditions and form of compensation for certain positions. Instead of a fixed monthly salary these
employees are offered to work on as needed basis, their compensation will depend on the work that they
complete. The offer does not provide maximum limit or schedule of works to be completed per month,
while the administration of the broadcaster does not guarantee that any of the employees will be called in
at least once. 19
The GPB responded by saying that the decision was prompted by the need to improve the system of
registration of employees and their working schedule. On the other hand, the Broadcaster explained: “the
existing working schedules/shifts distributed workload among employees in an ineffective and unfair
manner. As a result, excessive number of working groups accumulated, which does not match the needs of
programs that are produced and significantly increases human resources.” According to the statement,
changes in employment contracts affected up to 70 employees, instead of 150.
The GPB decision to offer new terms of employment to some employees raises questions in the situation
when the Broadcaster lacks an official schedule of employees and a clear employment policy.
In addition, the decision of GPB management to change terms of employment contract unilaterally during
a pre-election period sets a dangerous precedent. While serious question marks exist in public over
impartiality of the GPB management, there is a risk that other employees of the Broadcaster may become
susceptible to possible political interests of the management, which will put impartiality of GPB at a
serious risk.

17 See the audio recording:

18 See the statement of the Ministry of Finance:

VI. Intimidation/harassment on alleged political grounds

One of the founders of Kaspi organization of the Georgian Dream Ia Kvlividze is accusing executive
secretary of the same organization Irakli Nonikashvili of making threats against her and her family. Ia
Kvlividze believes that MP Dimitri Samkharadze and Mayor of Kaspi Manuchar Merebashvili are backing
up Irakli Nonikashvili.
On August 1, Ia Kvlividze received a call on her cellphone from an unidentified caller, who verbally
insulted her and threatened that he would destroy her and her family. Later Kvlividze found out that the
caller’s phone number belonged to executive director of the Georgian Dream’s organization in Kaspi,
Irakli Nonikashvili. Kvlividze believes that the phone call has to do with her comments on Dimitri
Samkharadze’s Facebook page, expressing concern about the political situation in Kaspi.
Ia Kvlividze commented on Dimitri Samkharadze’s Facebook page that people who used to be members of
the UNM prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections are now appointed to different positions in the
Georgian Dream office, while the Georgian Dream members that fought for victory in 2012 have been left
outside the party.
Irakli Nonikashvili refuses to comment on this issue. He has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations.
Notably, the Office of the Public Defender is looking into this fact.

VII. Physical confrontation

On July 29, Samkhretis Karibche reported that during Shuamtoba festivities on July 28, an incident
occurred on Persati Mountain in Adigeni. A conflict that started between young men about a football game
grew into a physical confrontation. As a result of the physical confrontation, Majoritarian MP Zura
Shainidze (European Georgia), his family members and his son’s friends were injured. Majoritarian MP
Zura Shainidze blamed activists of the Georgian Dream youth wing for the incident. 20
Later the Georgian Dream made an official statement, distancing itself from what happened. According to
the party, the incident was related to some issue of everyday life and it did not involve any political motive
whatsoever. According to the statement, the political union distances itself from all types of violence and
rules out political retaliation against someone.21
Investigation has been launched into the incident, based on subparagraph “b” of para.11, art.126 of the
Criminal Code of Georgia.

20 See the article:

21 See the article:
VIII. Attempts of possible vote buying and misuse of administrative resources

On July 20, local media in Kutaisi reported that Kutaisi City Hall was trying to create a charitable
foundation for buying votes during the pre-election period. Head of the foundation was Tamta Bakuradze,
who serves as the director of the City Hall’s non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity House of
Gratitude and as a member of the political council of the Georgian Dream’s organization in Kutaisi. 22
Giga Shushania, member of the UNM organization in Kutaisi held a press conference about the issue,
announcing that Kutaisi Mayor Giorgi Chighvaria and the entire Georgian Dream were acting through
Tamta Bakuradze, and they were forcing employees of non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entities
to contribute 1% of their monthly salary to the foundation. 23
Deputy Mayor of Kutaisi Nino Tvaltvadze announced that the foundation was acting independently and it
had nothing to do with the city Hall. According to her, employees of non-entrepreneurial (non-
commercial) legal entities were contributing 1% of their monthly salary to the foundation on voluntary
basis and they had not been forced to do so.
Notably, employees of non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entities found that 1% was charged
from their salaries without them authorizing the transaction. The charge was made automatically, even
though unauthorized persons should not be able to do it.
ISFED observer visited the House of Gratitude in Kutaisi to interview Tamta Bakuradze. The observer had
following questions with the director of the house: how did the charitable foundation obtain access to bank
accounts of employees of non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entities? Was it legal to charge 1%
from their salaries automatically? The observer also wanted to find out why the foundation was created
ahead of the presidential election, even though this created suspicions and raised questions among
stakeholders. Tamta Bakuradze refused to meet with the ISFED observer, instead she told her to attend
presentation of the foundation if she was interested.
On August 17, it was reported by media that the foundation was terminating its work before the end of
elections, in order to dispel any suspicions about it. 24
Later media found out that employees of non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entities received
templates of application addressed to Kutaisi Mayor, in order to give their consent for transferring 1% of
monthly salary to the foundation. 25

In August, Chair of Lanchkhuti Office of Georgia Red Cross Society Nato Zhordania gave a wheelchair to
a person with disability residing in Nigoiti village – Nora Khvedelidze. ISFED found out that Nato
Zhordania has been working in Tbilisi for a long time, while her husband is a resident of Nigoeti village
and he was recently appointed as a zone coordinator by the Georgian Dream. During an interview with
ISFED observer Zhordania announced that the charitable organization has been carrying out such
initiatives for a long time and it will continue to do so in the future.

On August 27, presidential candidate of political party Girchi – Zura Japaridze had a meeting with the
youth, who had received summons to appear for conscription proceedings. It was a Q&A meeting attended

22 See the information:

23 See the information:

by 35-40 people. The party gave clergyman’s certificate to those participants of the meeting who had
expressed their desire to receive such certificate.
Zurab Japaridze also represents a religious organization, Biblical Freedom. The organization provides
clergyman’s certificates to its members in order to exempt them from serving in the military. In the case in
question, a religious organization and a party are not clearly separated from one another, which runs
against requirements of the Election Code prohibiting religious organizations from participating in election

On August 16, Director of the LEPL Enterprise Georgia issued an order on “approval of the timeframe for
conducting the 2018 phase of the micro and small entrepreneurship element of the state program Produce
in Georgia”, which includes the schedule of events to be conducted within the program in 2018. 26
Notably, implementation of the program began on August 20 and its primary activities coincide with the
pre-election period.
There was the need to analyze the program within the pre-election context since meetings for introducing
the project are held in different municipalities. For instance, in all four municipalities of Shida Kartli
including in Kaspi, meetings within Enterprise Georgia program were held inside the building of the City
The meeting was attended by trustees of the territorial body. Changes in the grants competition announced
within the program was introduced to participants of the meeting. Representatives of the agency talked
about the fact that funding has been increased and project beneficiaries will be able to get more benefits
than previous participants of the program.

On September 1, in Tamari Settlement in Batumi, at the Center for Family Medicine of Tamari Settlement,
free medical examinations were provided to IDPs under the auspices of the government of the
Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia. Patients received medical services in 17 different areas as well as free
medication prescribed by doctors.

Through the monitoring ISFED found that City Hall of Lagodekhi Municipality started actively meeting
with population during the pre-election period. More specifically, on August 27, 30 and 31, Mayor of
Lagodekhi Municipality Jondo Mdivanishvili and heads of the City Hall departments met with local
population in villages that had been visited by opposition presidential candidates several days before.
During the meetings, population raised same problems that they did during meetings with opposition
parties. The local government has made promises to solve problems in some villages and it has already
started works in others. For instance, in Chiauri Community rehabilitation of electricity system has already

Official website of the City Hall of Ozurgeti Municipality reports that Cartu has financially supported
building of a new kindergarten in Daba Ureki, 27 which will open in October. On August 31, Ozurgeti
Mayor Konstantine Sharashenidze, head of the bureau of majoritarian MP – Lasha Chelidze and director of

26 See the order and its annex about the timeframe:

the center of pre-school education – Maka Chkonia visited the kindergarten to inspect the works.
According to official information, management of the foundation decided to build a new kindergarten
since the size of the existing kindergarten was insufficient. The foundation commissioned Association
ATU for completing the construction works. ISFED LTO contacted Mayor’s representative in Daba Ureki
– Davit Robakidze. Robakidze stated that the construction began last year, based on the foundation’s own
will. According to him, due to limited capacity of the existing kindergarten out of 90 children only 60
attended kindergarten and there was damp in the building. Robakidze said that Mayor’s representatives
that are currently leasing a space would move into the old kindergarten building.

On August 26, Akhalkalaki office of the Georgian Dream arranged a field trip for Akhalkalaki youth,
including for party activists. During the field trip the party drove 36 young people to Kazbegi in three
rented mini busses. According to the secretary of the Georgian Dream office Nana Aghdgomeladze, the
field trip was arranged for all young people who wanted to participate. According to her, this was a one-
time social project.

IX. Interference with pre-election campaigning

On August 20, in Nasakirali village a local named Otar Iremadze tried to disrupt a public meeting of the
political party union Power Is In Unity presidential candidate Grigol Vashadze. Iremadze is an employee
of one of the non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entities. He was demanding a response from
Vashadze about what the UNM had done during the period nine years of their ruling. Iremadze’s attempts
to disrupt the meeting lasted a few minutes. During an interview with ISFED observer, majoritarian
member of Ozurgeti Sakrebulo – Otar Katamadze stated that Otar Iremadze is an active supporter of the
Georgian Dream and he was similarly active during previous elections to support the authorities.

On August 30, presidential candidate Grigol Vashadze met with local population in the community of
Matkhoji village. The meeting was held in the yard of the administrative unit of Matkhoji, however after
some time representative of the administrative unit Nana Chakvetadze refused to allow the candidate to
proceed with the meeting, saying that the law did not allow it. Head of the UNM regional office Mamuka
Tkabladze explained to her that there was a resolution of Sakrebulo that indicated that the venue of a
meeting in Matkhoji Community was the building of the administration. Following this explanation, the
meeting continued without any incidents.

X. Violation of the rule of distributing printed campaign materials

On August 24, representatives of the campaign office of Grigol Vashadze, presidential candidate of the
united opposition - Power Is In Unity were distributing campaign booklets in public, outside of Rustaveli
Subway Station. The booklets did not specify address of organization that produced the materials and the
total number of copies produced, which is a mandatory requirement for printed campaign materials. 28

Pursuant to art.46.6 of the Election Code, Printed campaign materials shall specify the names and addresses of organizations that
manufactured and ordered them, as well as information of circulation, sequence number, and date of issue. It is prohibited to
XI. Budget amendments in municipalities

ISFED studied budget amendments in municipalities since May 1, 2018. During this time, amendments to
local self-government budgets were made in 32 municipalities. In addition, under the Resolution no.1665
of the Government of Georgia (dated August 23, 2018) GEL 250 million was allocated for municipalities
from the fund for projects to be implemented in the regions of Georgia. 29

Under the Resolution no.1709 of August 27, 2018, amendments were made to the resolution of the
Government of Georgia for provision of funding for the Foundation for Development of High-
Mountainous Settlements. In particular, under the resolution GEL 300,000 was allocated for projects to be
implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, and GEL 8,659,105 was allocated for the
LEPL Agency for Development of Agricultural Cooperatives; further, financing for planning of individual
projects in high-mountainous regions was determined. 30
Art.45 of the Election Code of Georgia prohibits from the 60th day before the Election Day
implementation of projects/programs that have not been previously included in the State Budget of
Georgia or in the budget of any local self-government unit. 31 Even though budget amendments
summarized in this report have not formally violated the Election Code regulations during the pre-election
period, planning and/or implementation of different social, healthcare or infrastructural programs coincides
with the pre-election period, which may be related to the upcoming election and may aim to increase
support of voters. Consequently, large-scale changes in local budgets before the presidential election create
suspicions about misuse of administrative resources and do not contribute to creating level playing field
ahead of the election.

Under the Resolution no.30 of Ozurgeti Sakrebulo, dated May 2, 2018, funds allocated for social programs
were increased by GEL 22,000 due to specific purpose transfers from the State Budget. Under the same
resolution, changes were made in healthcare and infrastructural projects portion of the budget, which
resulted in increase of funding for the existing healthcare program by GEL 20,200 and allocation of an
additional GEL 6,952,900 from the State Budget and GEL 8,602,500 from the local budget for
infrastructural projects.
Under the Resolution no.36 of Ozurgeti Sakrebulo, dated June 6, 2018, funding for public healthcare
center of Ozurgeti Municipality was increased by GEL 18,220 from the remaining balance of the specific
purpose transfers, while GEL 2,175,500 was allocated for infrastructural projects.

In Khulo Municipality, based on budget amendments of June 22 and July 26, expenses for infrastructural
budgets were increased by GEL 1,239,537. As a result of these changes, construction of the center for
emergency medical care was planned and GEL 142,221 was allocated from the municipality budget for
this purpose. Within the healthcare program, funding for services provided to people with mental disorder
was allocated in the amount of GEL 35,000; GEL 3,500 was allocated for provision of medication to
citizens. GEL 80,000 was allocated for building of outdoor sports venues, and GEL 94,348 for
rehabilitation of bridges in villages of Khulo Municiplity.

disseminate printed campaign materials without indicating the above information. An electoral subject shall be required to indicate
the sequence number on printed campaign materials only after having been assigned that number.
29 See the resolution of the government of Georgia:
30 See the resolution of the government of Georgia:
31 See the organic law of Georgia – the Election Code of Georgia, art.45:

Budget amendments made on August 10 in Khulo Municipality concerned the following types of social
programs: funding for the program for one-time assistance of socially vulnerable families and individuals
with health problems was increased by GEL 20,000; funding for the program for different medical
expenses was increased by GEL 15,000.
On August 10, based on changes made in the municipality budget under the resolution of Sakrebulo,
funding for infrastructural projects was increased by GEL 4,748,332, including GEL 2,986,920 for
rehabilitation of road infrastructure, GEL 9,933 for rehabilitation of culture facilities, GEL 10,596 for
homebuilding and GEL 4,026 for rehabilitation of the water supply system.
In May, at the expense of services of project documentation and technical supervision of construction
works, funding for cultural events was increased by GEL and subsidies for non-entrepreneurial (non-
commercial) legal entities was increased by GEL 78,700.
Budget changes in May and August of 2018 also concerned implementation of natural disaster relief
measures. Under the resolution of the government of Georgia, GEL 180,000 was allocated to the
municipality in May for rehabilitation of damaged homes. In August, GEL 200,000 was allocated for
roofing of administrative buildings in Chibati and Ghrmaghele, and for rehabilitation of the roof of the
kindergarten in Atsana. Additional funds allocated to the municipality in May and in June from the fund of
projects to be implemented in the regions of Georgia amounted to GEL 2,558,849. These funds were
allocated for rehabilitation of roads, sewage systems and the building of a football school for children.

Under the resolution no.29 of Batumi Municipality Sakrebulo, dated May 29, funding for the social
programs in the budget was increased by GEL 152,500. Healthcare program was also amended to increase
funding by GEL 4,181,000. In addition, GEL 51,600 was allocated for 13 new sub-programs and the
community-based mobile group services introduced in the healthcare program. Initial funding allocated for
infrastructural program in Batumi Municipality Budget was increased by GEL 5,867,700. 7th new sub-
program was added to the existing 6 sub-programs in the section of infrastructural programs, for planning
and management of infrastructural projects. GEL 1,380,700 was allocated in the budget for this particular

Two amendments were made to the budget of Keda Municipality, under the resolutions of Sakrebulo no.22
and no.31, dated June 8, 2018 and August 24, 2018, respectively. These amendments mostly concerned
social, healthcare and infrastructural projects. The targeted program of one-time financial assistance for
families with many children was increased by GEL 6,000. GEL 13,397 was allocated for implementing
anti-landslide measures on the territory of the municipality. In addition, separate funds were allocated for
reinforcement of flood walls near roads, public schools and houses in villages of the municipality.
Additional GEL 563,800 was allocated for improvements within the town territory.

Two amendments were made to the budget of Poti Municipality. More specifically, budget incomes were
increased by GEL 4,571,700, while GEL 5,952,700 was allocated from the State Budget as a transfer.
Pursuant to the Order of Poti Municipality Mayor, salary expenditures of the city hall were decreased by
GEL 7,300, which was then added to the social security expenses. Monthly assistance for families with
many children was increased by GEL 3,200 at the expense of reducing healthcare and social security
As a result of reducing expenses of the non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity Association of
Preschool Education of Poti by GEL 100,000, funding for rehabilitation of preschool education institutions
was increased. The program of gasification of kindergartens was reduced by GEL 18,200, which was then
added to the expenses of construction and rehabilitation of infrastructures. GEL 40,000 was allocated for
purchasing streetlights. The program of arranging a plant nursery was added to improvements projects and
GEL 29,000 was allocated to it. Co-funding expenses for sports venues and more specifically, for gym
reconstruction was increased by GEL 42,100. Changes were made in construction, infrastructure and
improvements projects. In particular, at the expense of reducing funds for rehabilitation of roads by GEL
70,000, expenses for building and designing of infrastructural facilities was increased by GEL 30,000.

Amendments to the budget of Kvareli Municipality mostly affected social and infrastructural projects.
Under the resolution no.60 of Sakrebulo, dated August 24, 2018, the following was set as priority areas of
the municipality: implementation of infrastructural measures, building and rehabilitation of road
infrastructure, as well as provision of funding for pre-school institutions and more specifically, covering all
expenses related to functioning of 22 preschool institutions, covering expenses related to sports and
cultural events.
As a result of budget amendments, assistance for socially vulnerable individuals was increased by GEL
75,000; funding was allocated for individual infrastructural measures; funding for homebuilding measures
was increased by GEL 87,800; additional funds amounting to GEL 1,120,100 were allocated for
rehabilitation of roads, GEL 22,7000 for improving sports venues and entrances. To promote cultural
events, subsidy for the non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity Center for Protection and
Development of Cultural Heritage, Sports/Health Facilities of Kvareli was increased by GEL 54,400.

Budget amendments in Akhmeta Municipality affected infrastructural, social and healthcare programs. The
resolution no.60 of Sakrebulo, dated August 27, 2018, set the following priority areas of the municipality:
improvement of investment environment and infrastructure; improvement of access and quality to
preschool education; development of culture and sports including promotion of healthy lifestyle and
provision of funding for individual programs for health and social security of population. Within these
priority areas, additional fund amounting to GEL 229,900 was allocated for rehabilitation of roads, funding
for preschool education was increased by GEL 272,800, and GEL 11,000 was allocated for the non-
entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity Social Home at the expense of non-financial assets and GEL
3,200 as a subsidy.

Under the resolution no.50 of Gurjaani Municipality Sakrebulo, dated August 27, 2018, amendments were
made to the budget to plan building and reconstruction of roads, promotion of vocational education, sports
and cultural development.
Mainly at the expense of the State transfer, expenses for reconstructing roads were increased by GEL
4,056,000; expenses related to rehabilitation and exploitation of water system were increased by GEL
75,300 and by GEL 64,570 under the budget amendments of August 27.

Budget amendments made on May 1, 2018, increased funding for free diners by GEL 75,830; within the
infrastructural program GEL 36,834 was allocated for rehabilitation of outdoor lighting and GEL 26,959
was allocated for installment of outdoor lighting; 9,600 was allocated for improvement works within the
municipality territory.

Amendments made by Sakrebulo to the budget of Telavi Municipality in July concerned expenses related
to construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure. As a result of the amendments, funding for this
particular activity was increased by GEL 522,675. Under the resolution no.63 of August 27, 2018,
expenses for building and rehabilitation of works were increased.

Budget amendments in Kaspi Municipality mostly concerned social and infrastructural projects. One-time
assistance for population of the village located close to the administrative borderline was determined, in
the amount of GEL 200 per family. As a result, the municipal budget was increased by GEL 16,400.
Based on budget amendments adopted by Sakrebulo on June 8, GEL 77,100 collected in company property
taxes was allocated for provision of lump-sum assistance. Under the August 13 amendments, a portion of
funds collected in local property taxes – GEL 100,000 was allocated for provision of lump-sum assistance
in the field of healthcare.
The budget was increased by GEL 90,500 for rehabilitation of Kaspi Municipality roads, including GEL
17,195 allocated to Kaspi budget from the fund of projects to be implemented in the regions. Remaining
funds were mobilized through the budget income from sanctions and penalties. As a result of amendments
made on July 19, additional GEL 750,000 was allocated for rehabilitation works in the city of Kaspi
through the income from local fees and on August 13, additional GEL 130,000 was allocated fro
implementation of these types of projects.

Amendments were made in Gori Municipality budget to allow planning of provision of certain benefits
and social assistance for different groups of the society that reside within the municipality area;
compensation of ritual expenditures within the special purpose transfer allocated from the State Budget;
provision of assistance to families with many children with the aim of improving the demographic
situation. Funds were allocated for one-time financial assistance for persons with clearly pronounced
visual impairments (persons who are blind) in the amount of GEL 250 per person; for one-time financial
assistance of persons with significant impairments (persons who are blind), who have been assigned social
ranking scores, in the amount of GEL 200 per person; for lump-sum assistance of the eldest people
residing within the administrative borders of Gori Municipality, in the amount of GEL 500 per person.
From the fund of projects to be implemented in the region, under the resolution no.952 of the Government
of Georgia, dated May 3, 2018, GEL 2,362,910 was allocated for implementation of infrastructural
measures. Non-financial assets were increased by GEL 11,952 in Gori for building and reconstructing

Under the resolution no.50 of May 8, 2018, amendments were made to the budget of Khashuri
Municipality. Under the resolution no.952 of the Government of Georgia, dated May 3, 2018, from the
fund of projects to be implemented in the regions of Georgia, GEL 500,000 was allocated to Khashuri
Municipality for rehabilitation of roads.
Based on the resolution no.72 of Khashuri Municipality Sakrebulo, dated August 20, 2018, a specific
purpose transfer in the amount of GEL 225,000 received from the State budget was directed towards
implementation of the following programs – GEL 95,000 was allocated for discharging powers provided in
the Law of Georgia on Public Health; GEL 125,000 was allocated for discharging powers under the law of
Georgia on Military Obligations and Military Service and the law of Georgia on Military Reserve Service;
GEL 5,000 was allocated for ritual-related expenditures.

Budget amendments in Kareli Municipality mostly concerned infrastructural projects. From the fund for
development of high-mountainous settlements GEL 314,864 was allocated to Kareli Municipality for
rehabilitation of roads. In addition, resolution of Kareli Municipality Sakrebulo, dated December 4, 2017,
was amended to allow allocation of GEL 4,811,902 to Kareli Municipality from the fund of projects to be
implemented in the regions of Georgia.

Budget amendments in Aspindza Municipality were made to allow funding of the following programs –
GEL 6,630,400 was allocated for building, rehabilitation and exploitation of infrastructure. Within the
priority area, building and rehabilitation of roads (rehabilitation of local roads and bridges) and
rehabilitation of multi-apartment residential building facades will continue. Funding for education program
was increased by GEL 421,000 and it was set as one of the priority areas for the municipality. In addition,
GEL 872,600 was allocated for promotion of culture, religion and youth and for protection and
development of sports traditions.

Budget amendments in Oni Municipality mostly concerned infrastructural programs, however funding of
certain priority social programs was also planned. The program provides certain benefits and social
assistance for different groups of local population, financial assistance for social protection of the elderly,
assistance for families with many children (3 or more) for improving the demographic situation. Based on
the amendments adopted in May, GEL 73,078 was allocated for upgrading the source of mineral water in
Utsera village; GEL 160,531 was allocated for rehabilitating a crossing bridge and GEL 208,688 for
rehabilitating roads.

Budget amendments in Mestia mostly concerned social programs. Social assistance program in the 2018
budget of Mestia Municipality was increased by GEL 120,000. One-time assistance for families affected
by fire was determined and funds were allocated for treatment of a range of different diseases.

Budget amendments adopted in Terjola Municipality on August 27 determined that implementation of
infrastructural, healthcare and social projects were the priority areas. GEL 20,952 was allocated to Terjola
Municipality from the fund of projects to be implemented in the regions for replacing damaged drinking
water pipes within the municipality area and for purchasing water supply equipment for local population.
Additionally, one-time financial assistance for the socially vulnerable people that reside in the municipality
was planned. Based on the amendments, part of the socially vulnerable population in the city of Terjola,
who are already beneficiaries of the free diner, will receive groceries or equivalent in cash. Assistance will
be provided to those who are sick with epilepsy or leukemia and to beneficiaries of the state dialysis

Under the budget amendments of August 24, GEL 823,770 was allocated for infrastructural projects of the
municipality and in particular, for building and rehabilitation of roads, residential areas, yards, leisure
parks and repairing of multi-story residential buildings, and GEL 15,500 was allocated for cleaning and
improvement services in the municipality. Within these services, squares, lawns and gardens will be
maintained and planting of greenery will be organized.
An additional funding in the amount of GEL 10,083 was allocated for promotion of development of
culture. For protection and promotion of cultural traditions, financial support of a range of different
cultural facilities and events was planned within the existing program.

Under the amendments made to the budget of Samtredia Municipality, GEL 9,949,400 was allocatedfor
building and rehabilitation of infrastructure, building and rehabilitation of roads was planned.
Apart from infrastructural projects, the following priority areas were identified: funding of expenses
required for functioning of kindergartens, their rehabilitation and provision of supplies – GEL 1,761,000
was allocated for this purpose.
Since May 2018, amendments were made to specific purpose social programs of the healthcare and social
affairs service of the city hall of the municipality, under the resolution of Samtredia Sakrebulo
Municipality. More specifically, the line item for provision of one-time financial assistance was increased
by GEL 100,000.

In Khoni Municipality, GEL 469,689 was allocated from the fund of projects to be implemented in the
regions of Georgia, for planning of implementation of different infrastructural projects. Financing of
education was identified as a priority area for the municipality. In addition, funds were allocated for
rehabilitation of kindergartens and provision of adequate equipment for them.

Under the budget amendments in Tkibuli Municipality, funds allocated for social protection were
increased from GEL 388,300 to GEL 400, 000.
Budget for vehicles and rehabilitation of roads was increased from GEL 17,900 to GEL 47,810, while
funds allocated for development of communal economy was increased from GEL 10,787 to GEL 23,686,
mostly at the expense of transfers from the State Budget.
Based on amendments to the leisure and sports program, the budget was increased at the expense of
increasing the State transfer as well as the local budget incomes. Reserve funds created within the budget
were increased from GEL 30,000 to GEL 40,000 to cover unforeseen budget costs.

Under the budget amendments in Kutaisi Municipality, changes were made in funds allocated for
implementation of infrastructural projects. In the sub-program of the infrastructural program, funds were
allocated for implementation of rehabilitation of motor roads, as well as for improving the road safety and
the sewer system. The budget of the municipality was increased by GEL 12,439 for implementing these
works. For periodic rehabilitation and construction of roads infrastructure in Kutaisi, financing of GEL
10,784 was allocated.
Budget amendments also affected social programs. Expenses related to exploitation of housing of socially
vulnerable population was increased by GEL 285, 000.

Under the budget amendments in Khobi Municipality, GEL 144,500 was allocated as a subsidy to “Khobi
Municipality Water Supply” from the existing balance, and GEL 48,800 was allocated for implementation

of regional projects. Under the budget amendments made by Sakrebulo in July, GEL 265,000 was
allocated for funding of regional projects from the free balance. Funding of infrastructural and cultural
events in parallel with economic development was identified as a priority area for Khobi Municipality;
implementation of social projects, promotion of public health and social protection of population was
planned. Within the existing resources, socially vulnerable population was provided with a range of
benefits and assistance.

Under the May 4 resolution of Zugdidi Municipality Sakrebulo, changes were made in the social program.
Lump-sum assistance for internally displaced persons was increased up to GEL 200. Changes also
concerned infrastructural projects – the program for building and rehabilitating roads was increased by
GEL 207,700 and the program for rehabilitation and exploitation of water system was increased by GEL
From the fund of projects to be implemented in the regions of Georgia provided in the Law of Georgia on
the State Budget 2018, funding allocated to Zugdidi Municipality was increased by GEL 387,453. In
consideration of this change, budget incomes were set at GEL 434,247.

Under the order no.957 of the Government of Georgia, dated May 3, 2018, for disaster relief measures in
2017-2018, GEL 695,000 was allocated to the municipality from the fund of projects to be implemented in
the regions of Georgia, including GEL 620,500 for funding non-financial assets of disaster relief measures.

There were three amendments made to the budget of Gardabani Municipality, based on which the budget
was increased by GEL 4,058,300. Changes in the budget mostly concerned healthcare, social and
infrastructure projects. An additional GEL 5,000 was allocated for social security. The line item of other
expenses was increased by GEL 40,200, totaling GEL 429,700, while the line item of subsidies was
increased by GEL 135,000, totaling GEL 6,832,1 thousand.

Budget changes in Dmanisi Municipality concerned infrastructural projects. Funds for improvement
measures for building and rehabilitation of road infrastructure was increased by GEL 947,000. Funds were
allocated for rehabilitation and exploitation of water systems.

Budget changes in Marneuli Municipality concerned infrastructural projects. Local budget assignations of
Marneuli Municipality for 2018 were reduced by GEL 26,500, which was then added to expenses related
to building and rehabilitation of roads and infrastructure.

Under the budget amendments in Mtskheta Municipality, GEL 4,600 was allocated for social security
measures. Budgets amendments were mostly introduced at the expense of transfers, which included GEL
177,000 directed towards funding of healthcare programs and GEL 124,246 for funding of infrastructural

Two amendments were made to the budget of Tbilisi Municipality for 2018, approved under the resolution
of December 15, 2017. More specifically, based on resolutions no.21-75 and no.24-79, dated June 15,
2018 and July 27, 2018, respectively, budget was increased by GEL 130,789 in the section of non-financial
assets, funding of GEL 25,084 was allocated for building and reconstruction of engineering structures and
infrastructural facilities. The change of non-financial assets in Tbilisi Municipality amounted to GEL
142,317, GEL 84,906 was allocated for building and rehabilitation of infrastructure, and GEL 25,084 was
allocated for building, restoration and reconstruction of engineering structures and infrastructural facilities.

XII. The monitoring mission and Methodology

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) conducts the pre-election monitoring in
all electoral districts of Georgia through 69 long-term observers.

Monitoring of the pre-election period covers the following important areas:

● Election administration activities;
● Public meetings of electoral subjects and their political activities;
● Cases of harassment/intimidation or alleged politically motivated dismissals from work;
● Possible instances of vote buying;
● Cases of misuse of administrative resources;
● Formation of voter lists, etc.

During the monitoring ISFED relies on public information requested from administrative agencies, as well
as information provided by electoral subjects, media, NGOs and individual citizens. ISFED verifies each
report by interviewing witnesses and all sides of the incident.

ISFED publishes statements and reports to keep public informed on periodic basis about violations and
trends identified during the pre-election period.

ISFED maps all reports of pre-election incidents and possible violations on the interactive incident map
available at the Georgian Elections Portal:

Anyone can report a possible violation to the Elections Portal by sending a text to a toll-free number 90039
or by going to

The pre-election monitoring of ISFED is made possible by the support of the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).


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