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Georgia – Electoral Law

 

 

UNOFFICIAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION PREPARED BY IFES

AUGUST 19,1999

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

CHAPPTER I: GENERAL PROVISIONS  

CHAPTER II: CALLING THE ELECTIONS. REGISTRATION OF PARTIES AND BLOCS PARTICIPATING IN THE ELECTIONS

CHAPTER III: ELECTION DISTRICTS AND PRECINCTS

CHAPTER IV: THE ELECTION COMMISSIONS

ChAPTER V: VOTERS’ LIST, VOTING INVITATION AND VOTING LICENSE

CHAPTER VI: NOMINATION AND REGISTRATION OF THE CANDIDATES, BALLOT PAPERS

CHAPTER VII: RIGHTS OF PARTIES, ELECTION BLOCS AND CANDIDATES PARTICIPATING IN THE ELECTIONS

ChAPTER VIII: VOTING AND COUNTING PROCEDURES. ELECTIONS OF REPLACED OR WITHDRAWN MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND NOMINATION OF their substitutes

ChAPTER IX: TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS FOR THE 1999 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

 

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Article 1. Principles of elections

1.                  The elections to the Parliament of Georgia shall be held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage with a secret vote.

2.                  The Parliament of Georgia shall be elected for a term of 4 years, 150 members of Parliament shall be elected in multi-mandate election districts on the basis of proportional representation system according to party lists, 85 members shall be elected in single-mandate election districts on the basis of majoritarian election system.

Article 2. Universal suffrage

      1. Elections to the Parliament shall be universal: each citizen of Georgia who has attained to the age of 18 years at the day of election has the right to vote, and each citizen of Georgia who has attained to the age of 25 years at the day of election and has lived in Georgia permanently for no less than 10 years has the right to be elected, regardless of race, color, language, sex, religious belief, education, political and other forms of thought, national, ethnic and social affiliation, origin, property and occupation.

      2. A citizen, who has not lived in Georgia for the last 2 years and is not registered at the Consulate of Georgia of any country, shall not be elected as a member of the Parliament.

Article 3. Equal suffrage

The elections to the Parliament of Georgia shall be equal, all citizens of Georgia have equal right to participate in elections.

 

Article 4. Direct suffrage

The elections to the Parliament shall be direct. The members of Parliament shall be elected directly by the voters.

Article 5. Secret vote

The elections to the Parliament shall be held by secret vote. Influence on the expression of voters' will and open voting shall not be permitted.

Article 6. Persons who are not eligible to vote

No citizen judged by a Court to be incapable, and no person who is committed to a penitentiary establishment by the sentence of a Court has the right to vote.

Article 7. Conduct of the elections by the Election Commissions

The Election Commissions shall conduct the elections of the Parliament of Georgia in accordance with the rules established by this Law.

 

Article 8. Right to participate in the elections and to nominate Candidates

The right to participate in the Parliamentary elections and to nominate candidates of members of the Parliament shall be granted to:

      1. A party registered by the Central Election Commission under the rules established by this Law;

      2. An election block of parties mentioned in Subparagraph a) of this Article;

      3. An initiative group of voters only in elections held under the multi-mandate system in accordance with the rules established by this Law.

Article 9. Incompatibility of a Member of Parliament holding Public Office

The incompatibility of status for members of Parliament holding public office is determined by the Law of Georgia on the "Status of a Member of the Parliament of Georgia".

Article 10. Financial support to the Elections

The costs required for the preparation and conduct of the elections shall be covered by the State.

Article 11. Responsibility for violations of the Election Legislation

      1. Any person who violates the provisions of this Law shall be subject to criminal or administrative liability in accordance with the Georgian legislation.

      2. Candidates nominated by parties and election blocs, as well as those standing for elections in election districts, who exceed the limits of election funds determined by the Central Election Commission, or do not submit accounts of expenses spent by them during the election campaign within the terms determined by the law, shall be deprived of the right to participate in the forthcoming elections of the Parliament of Georgia. Parties, election blocs and independent candidates elected as members of the Parliament that have overcome the election threshold according to the preliminary data of the Central Election Commission, will be deprived of their mandates in the Parliament. The Supreme Court of Georgia shall adjudicate cases of such violations submitted by the Central Election Commission, the political parties (or blocs) or independent candidates no later than 3 days after the consolidation of the election results.

Article 111. Normative Acts of the Central Election Commission of Georgia

The decrees of the Central Election Commission of Georgia (except for decrees determining personnel matters or issues concerning the registration of parties and blocs participating in the elections and the consolidation of the results of elections) are normative acts.Top

 

CHAPTER II

CALLING THE ELECTIONS. REGISTRATION OF PARTIES AND BLOCS PARTICIPATING IN THE ELECTIONS

 

Article 12. Announcement of the Elections

The next elections to the Parliament of Georgia shall be held not earlier than 40 days and no later than 15 days before the expiration of the mandate of the Parliament. The President of Georgia shall announce the date of the elections no later than 60 days before the elections.

Article 13. Registration of the Parties for the Elections

      1. The parties, to gain the right to participate in the elections, shall be registered by the Central Election Commission. Parties required to present a list of 50 000 supporters shall submit an application to the CEC no later than 1st of July of the Parliamentary Elections year and shall present the list within 30 days. A party having a representative in the Parliament at the time of the announcement of the date of the elections, shall submit an application to the CEC no later than 55 days before the elections. The application, signed by the party’s leader, shall be submitted to the CEC together with a copy of the party’s registration certificate. The form for the application shall be designed by the CEC. The party’s name on the application shall be the same as the one used for registration at the Ministry of Justice. The application shall include the first and last name, address and telephone numbers of the leader (or the leaders) of the party, of the authorized representative of the party and the person authorized to sign election documents.

      2. If the above-mentioned requirements are met, within 6 days the CEC shall reach a decision on the registration of such party and shall provide a notification to party’s authorized representative. A party whose activities have been suspended in accordance with the rules of the Law shall not be registered. The decision of the CEC to reject or terminate the registration of a political party shall be validated by a decree. The decree shall comprehensively describe the reasons for rejecting or terminating the registration of a political party.

      3. The party (or election bloc) list and election registration shall be cancelled in the event that the party was registered by a representative in the Parliament of Georgia who is found on the list of another party, and if there is no other parliamentary representative for the same list at the time of registration.

      4. If the Central Election Commission rejects the registration of a party, the party has the right to lodge an appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia within 3 days from the notification of the refusal. The Supreme Court shall reach a decision within 3 days from the receipt of an appeal. The Court's decision shall be final and not subject to reconsideration.

      5. Within 2 days after the completion of registration, the Central Election Commission shall distribute through the media the list of registered parties following the order of submission of their applications together with the list of those parties whose registration was rejected and the reasons for refusal.

Article 14. Election blocs and election bloc registration

      1. The parties registered by the CEC have the right to join into election blocs (a bloc can be given a name which shall not coincide with the name of an earlier registered bloc or party; and it shall not include the name of a party which is not part of the given bloc). The registration of the blocs by the Central Election Commission shall be completed no later than 36 days before the elections.

      2. The application submitted to the CEC shall be signed by the leaders of all parties forming the bloc. The application shall include the name, address and telephone number of the authorized representative of the bloc to whom the CEC will transmit a dated notification of receipt of the application. Attached to the application there shall be the regulations of the election bloc signed by leaders of all parties forming the bloc, determining the rules of how the bloc makes its decisions in respect to election activities, including the rule for nominating and removing candidates, for the withdrawal of parties from the bloc and for the admission of new members to the bloc and the expulsion of a party from the bloc; the names of those persons authorized to sign the bloc's application shall be also included.

      3. The Central Election Commission, within 2 days after the registration of the bloc, shall announce the registration of the given bloc to the Georgian media.

      4. At the time of registration of the election blocs, the mandate of the authorized representatives appointed by the parties forming the blocs shall be terminated. The election blocs have the right to appoint authorized representatives to all election commissions.

      5. The parties united in an election bloc are not permitted to join at the same time other election blocs or participate in elections separately

6. If the Central Election Commission rejects the registration of a bloc, the bloc may appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia within 2 days from the notification of the refusal. The Supreme Court shall reach a decision within 3 days from the receipt of the appeal. The Supreme Court's decision shall be final and not subject to reconsideration.Top

 

CHAPTER III

ELECTION DISTRICTS AND PRECINCTS

 

Article 15. Election Districts

1. For the elections to the Parliament, 85 single-mandate election districts, being divided according to the territorial and administrative division of the country, shall be established. Out of these, 10 single-mandate election districts shall be established in the city of Tbilisi.

2. The list of election districts shall be published no later than 7 days after the announcement of the elections.

Article 16. Election Precincts

      1. For the elections to the Parliament, the election districts shall be divided into election precincts for the voting and counting process. Election precincts shall be established no later than 55 days prior to the elections and for no less than 20 and no more than 3,000 voters. In areas of difficult accessibility, in structures and units of the military forces of Georgia, on vessels on the high seas on the day of elections, the election precincts shall be established within the same time frame and, in exceptional cases, no later than 5 days prior to the elections.

      2. Election precincts shall be formed and their boundaries shall be determined by the District Election Commissions in consultation and with the consent of the regional (city, district) local self-government and government bodies. On the day of the elections, the election precincts shall be formed using the same procedures in the current locations of the structures and units of the military forces of Georgia and for vessels on the high seas, according to the vessels' homeports. In respect to the governmental institutions of Georgia located outside the territory of the country, the election precincts shall be formed in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. The Central Election Commission shall determine the delimitation of election precincts according to their respective district.

      3. In hospitals and other medical institutions and in inaccessible areas, mobile ballots boxes shall be used.

      4. The District Election Commissions, within 5 days from the formation of the election precincts, shall announce the numbers, the boundaries of the election precincts, the addresses of the Precinct Election Commissions and polling stations by local radio and TV. Top

 

CHAPTER IV

THE ELECTION COMMISSIONS

 

Article 17. Structure of the Election Commission

For the conduct of the elections to the Parliament the following election commissions shall be established:

a) the Central Election Commission of Georgia;

b) the District Election Commissions;

c) the Precinct Election Commissions.

 

Article 18. Composition of the Election Commission

      1. Any citizen of Georgia who has the right to vote may be elected or appointed to the election commissions.

      2. After every Parliamentary election one member shall be appointed to the election commissions by each of the 5 parties (or election blocs) having the best results in the Parliamentary elections held under the proportional system.

      3. In accordance with Paragraph 2 of this Article, parties shall appoint the members to the Central Election Commission and to the District Election Commissions for a 4-year term no later than 30 days after the official announcement of the results of the elections and, for the PECs, no later than 45 days prior to the elections. In exceptional cases, as described in Paragraph 1 of Article 16, the PEC members shall be appointed no later than 3 days before the elections. The mandate of the members of the PEC shall be terminated at the time of the consolidation of the elections results in the precincts.

      4. If a party in a bloc that is not participating in the next elections appointed a Commission member, the next party registered by the CEC on the bloc list, has the right to appoint a new member.

      5. If any party has not exercised its right to appoint a member of the Commission as provided in Paragraph 3 of this Article, that member of the Commission shall be appointed by the upper level commission and, in the case of the CEC, by the Parliament.

      6. In the event that different bodies within a party appoint a representative to the same Commission, the candidate appointed by the upper level body shall be considered the member of the Commission.

      7. A person appointed or elected to the Central Election Commission shall be considered a Commission member from the time of his/her appointment or election.

      8. The DEC and PEC members appointed by the parties and election blocs shall be considered as members of the Commission from the time of their first appearance in the respective commission and, for the members appointed by an upper level commission, from the time of their appointment.

      9. Members of Parliament, local self-government representative bodies, State officials, leaders and their deputies, candidates for Parliament and local self-government bodies - Sakrebulos, party and election bloc authorized representatives and proxies of candidates for Parliament are not entitled to be appointed as members of the election commissions.

      10. The mandate of a Chairperson, his or her Deputy, Secretary or of a member of an election commission shall be terminated:

      11. In case of resignation (the resignation shall be presented to the upper level election commission; for a member of the Central Election Commission it shall be presented to the Commission and be considered within 3 days. The President of Georgia shall make a decision on the resignation of the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission);

      12. On the basis of Paragraph 4 of this Article;

      13. In case of being deprived of the mandate;

      14. If an accusatory judgment has been entered;

      15. In case of losing Georgian citizenship;

      16. In case of death.

      17. Only the Prosecutor General of Georgia may bring a criminal case against a member of the Central Election Commission.

      18. If the mandate of a member of an election commission is terminated before the expiration of its term, the authorized representative shall appoint a member for the remainder of the term.

Article 19. Organizing the activities of the Election Commissions

      1. The rule of operation of the election commissions shall be determined by this Law and by the regulations that shall be adopted by Central Election Commission by the majority of two-thirds of the members who are present.

      2. The election commissions shall elect their Deputy Chairpersons and Secretaries.

      3. The election commissions is authorized to be held a session if the majority of the total number of their members is present. The majority of members present shall reach a decision. In case of equal division of votes, the vote of a Chairperson shall have decisive power. The members of the Commission who do not agree with the decision of Commission are entitled to express their opinion in a written statement, which shall be attached to the minutes of the session and submitted to the upper level election Commission.

      4. The election commissions shall be represented by their Chairpersons. If the Chairperson is absent or not able to perform his or her duties, the Deputy Chairperson shall assume the functions of acting Chairperson.

      5. Work groups may be established under the authority of Central Election Commission with the purpose of ensuring organizational, legal and technical support to the elections. The members of work groups shall be appointed and provided with compensation by the Central Election Commission.

      6. All documents shall be submitted to the Election Commissions before 18:00 HR.

Article 20. Role and responsibilities of the members of the Election Commissions

      1. The Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson Secretary and the members of the Central Election Commission during the entire term of their office shall be provided with salaries determined by the Parliament at the expense of the State budget. They may preserve their previous positions held before their appointment (or election) to the above offices.

      2. All members of the election commissions within the entire period of preparation and conduct of the elections shall be entitled to unpaid leave. Four members of the District Election Commissions and 2 members of the Precinct Election Commissions, within the entire period of preparation and conduct of elections, and the other members of the Precinct Election Commissions during the last 10 days before the elections, may be provided with salaries from the funds assigned for the elections and in the amount determined by the Central Election Commission. The Central Election Commission shall determine the number of paid members of the Central and District Election Commissions, the District Election Commissions shall determine commission and number of paid members of the Precinct Election Commissions. The salaries of the members of the Central and District Election Commissions shall be establish by the Central Election Commission and those of the members of Precinct Election Commissions by the District Election Commissions. Upper level commissions shall take into account the proposals of the commissions whose members are being granted with salaries. Overtime work shall be paid in the amount determined by the Central Election Commission and from the funds assigned for the elections.

      3. The members of the Central Election Commission, during the term of their mandate, shall receive their salaries from the State budget. The Parliament of Georgia, in consultation with the Commission, shall approve the staff payment/salary schedule of the Central Election Commission.

      4. The Chairpersons and Accountants of the Commissions, and the head of the Financial Department of the Central Election Commission, in behalf of their respective commissions, shall manage the funds allotted to the commissions and be responsible for their reasonable use.

      5. The members of the election commissions during the entire period of the elections shall not be allowed to make propaganda in favor of or against any party, election bloc or candidate participating in the elections.

Article 21. The Central Election Commission

      1. The Central Election Commission of Georgia shall be composed by a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson, a Secretary and 14 members. Members of the CEC are public servants and the requirements on incompatibility with Public Office established by the Law on "Public Service" are not applicable.

      2. The Parliament of Georgia shall elect 5 members of the Central Election Commission in the last month of the spring session of every Parliamentary Elections year, for a term of 4 years. No more than 3 of those five members shall be representatives of the parliamentary majority. The Parliament shall immediately announce its decision to the official media.

      3. The President of Georgia shall appoint 4 members of the Central Election Commission and, with the consent of the Parliament, its Chairperson for a term of 5 years. In the periods between Parliamentary sessions, the President shall appoint a Chairperson without the consent of the Parliament and shall present his or her candidate for approval of the Parliament immediately after its assembling.

      4. The Supreme Councils or the Presidiums of the autonomous Republics are each empowered to appoint one member of the Central Election Commission.

      5. In the event of having less than 17 Commission members and the existing vacancies are not filled within 14 days, the Parliament, during its first working week, shall appoint the necessary additional members to fill the vacancies and raise the number up to 17 members.

      6. The Commission shall elect its Deputy Chairperson and Secretary from among its members.

      7. The Central Election Commission shall announce its composition, address and telephone numbers to the official media.

      8. The members of the Central Election Commission are appointed by parties in accordance with Paragraph 3 of Article 18 of this Law.

Article 22. Responsibilities of the Central Election Commission

      1. Prior to the filling of all vacancies in the Central Election Commission, the sessions of the Commission shall be held only if at least two-thirds of its actual members are present.

      2. The Central Election Constitution has the authority to:

        1. ensure, within its terms of reference, that the provisions of the Constitution and of this Law in the whole territory of Georgia are followed and verify their uniform application; promulgate instructions determined by the majority of total number of its members to resolve necessary issues for the conduct of the election campaign which are not prescribed by this Law;

        2. delegate, if necessary, by the decision of the majority of two-thirds of its members, part of its mandate to newly established groups with the purpose of solving the issues previously determined;

        3. establish the election districts; appoint the Chairpersons and 4 members of the District Election Commissions and in case of need - additional members of the Commission; publish the lists of members of the Commissions and their addresses;

        4. resolve problems related to the allocation of election precincts to election districts, and to the establishment of precincts outside the territory of Georgia;

        5. announce the dates of commencement and end of the election activities;

        6. register the parties and election blocs participating in the elections;

        7. register the authorized representatives of the parties and the election blocs participating in the elections independently and provide them with the appropriate documentation;

        8. certify the lists of parties and election blocs participating in elections; provide the Parliament Member candidates with the relevant certificates;

        9. supervise the operation of the election commissions and receive their reports;

        10. verify the compliance of the election commissions' decisions with the legislation and revoke, if necessary, those decisions and make a final determination; in extraordinary cases, by the consent of two-thirds of its members, terminate the mandate of lower level election commissions and delegate that mandate to special groups established by the Central Election Commission;

        11. determine the rules for the use and allocation of the election funds; allocate the financial resources to the District Election Commissions, parties and election blocs participating in the elections; organize the setting up of premises, transport and communications facilities for the election commissions, and consider other issues related to the financial and technical support of the elections;

        12. develop the election forms, design the ballot boxes and stamps of the election commissions and determine regulations for the storage of election documents;

        13. introduce provisions that shall ensure the creation of equal conditions during the election campaign for all parties, election blocs and candidates participating in the elections;

        14. determine, pursuant to this Law and to the other laws of Georgia, regulations for the mass media participation in the election campaign and ensure their effective respect;

        15. determine the responsibilities of the Ministries and of the other State and public institutions of Georgia, as well as of the autonomous Republics of Abkhazia and Adjara in connection with the preparation and conduct of the elections and receive their reports;

        16. endorse the text of the ballot papers, organize the printing of ballot papers and their distribution to the election commissions;

        17. determine the results of the elections according to the party lists and consolidate the general results of the elections; announce the results of the elections to the media and publish the list of the elected members of the Parliament no later than 5 days after the consolidation of the results of the elections; register the newly elected members of the Parliament and provide them with the appropriate certificates;

        18. present the necessary documentation for verifying the mandate of the newly elected members of Parliament to the Credential Committee of the Parliament;

        19. arrange, if necessary, a new voting in those election districts (or precincts), where the elections were considered invalid;

        20. in case of withdrawal of a member of Parliament elected by a party list, confirm a replacement candidate in accordance with this Law, register the latter and to provide him or her with an appropriate certificate, present to the Credential Committee of the Parliament the necessary documentation to verify the mandate of the newly elected member of the Parliament;

        21. set elections in election districts in case of withdrawal of a member of the Parliament elected in an election district and ensure that these elections are held;

        22. consider statements and complaints related to the actions of the District Election Commissions and make appropriate decisions;

        23. in exceptional cases, if in a district it is impossible to follow the requirements provided by the Constitution and by this Law, establish a new timeframe for the election activities; appoint, by the consent of two-thirds of its members, a new date for the elections in this district;

        24. perform other functions in accordance with this Law and with the other laws of Georgia.

Article 23. The District Election Commissions

      1. Each District Election Commission shall be composed by a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson, a Secretary and 7 members.

      2. The Central Election Commission shall appoint the Chairperson and 4 members of each District Election Commission in the month of May of the Parliamentary election year, for a term of 4 years. The other 5 members shall be appointed by the parties having such mandate in accordance with Article 18. The District Election Commission shall elect its Deputy Chairperson and Secretary from among its members.

      3. Each District Election Commission shall immediately announce its composition, address and telephone numbers and of the Precinct Election Commissions to the local media within 3 days from the day they are established.

      4. The District Election Commission members are appointed by the parties in accordance with the rule established by Article 18, Paragraph 3 of this Law.

Article 24. Responsibilities of the District Election Commissions

The District Election Commissions have the authority to:

      1. ensure, within its terms of reference, that the provisions of the Constitution and of this Law are followed and verify their uniform application in the territory of their respective election districts.

      2. establish election precincts and make public their lists;

      3. appoint a Chairperson and 4 members for each Precinct Election Commission, and in case of need, additional members; make public the lists and the addresses of the members of the Precinct Election Commissions;

      4. supervise the activities of the Precinct Election Commissions and receive their reports;

      5. appoint accountants to distribute the available funds to the Precinct Election Commissions; organize the setting up of premises, transport and communications facilities for the Precinct Election Commissions and consider other issues related to the financial and technical support of elections at districts level;

      6. register candidates standing for the elections in their district and provide them with appropriate certificates and financial means;

      7. register in their respective districts the authorized representatives of parties and election blocs participating in the elections and the proxies of candidates nominated to the district and provide them with appropriate certificates;

      8. ensure the creation during the election campaign of equal conditions for all parties, election blocs and candidates participating in the elections; ensure the publication and dissemination of information, which shall include the lists of the registered candidates running as members of the Parliament in the district, their curricula vitae and the main objectives of their election programs;

      9. ensure that the local media implement the requirements prescribed by this Law;

      10. receive reports from local authorities and administrations, from the heads of state institutions and organizations involved in the preparation and conduct of the elections;

      11. facilitate the organization of meetings between candidates and voters;

      12. supply the Precinct Election Commissions with ballot papers;

      13. consolidate and announce to the local media the election results in the district, the total number of voters and the voters’ turnout;

      14. organize a new voting in those precincts where the voting was considered invalid;

      15. conduct elections in election districts to replace withdrawn members of Parliament;

      16. consider statements and complaints related to decisions and actions of the Precinct Election Commissions and make the appropriate decisions;

      17. perform other functions in accordance with this Law.

Article 25. The Precinct Election Commissions

      1. The Precinct Election Commissions shall be formed no later than 45 days prior to the elections and shall be composed of a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson, a Secretary and 7 members.

      2. The District Election Commission shall appoint the Chairperson and 4 members of the Precinct Election Commission. In the event that in the District Election Commission the votes are divided equally, the vote of the Chairperson shall be decisive. Parties having such mandate as prescribed by Article 18 of this Law, shall appoint the other 5 members.

      3. The Precinct Election Commission shall elect a Deputy Chairperson and a Secretary from its members.

      4. The Precinct Election Commission shall immediately announce upon its formation its location and telephone numbers through the local mass media.

      5. The mandate of the Precinct Election Commission shall expire immediately after the consolidation of the election results at the precinct level.

      6. Parties appoint the members of the Precinct Election Commission in accordance with the rule established by Article 18, Paragraph 3 of this Law.

Article 26. Responsibilities of the Precinct Election Commissions

The Precinct Election Commissions shall:

1.      compile the voters’ lists in their respective precinct;

2.      inform the voters about the voters’ lists; receive and consider appeals regarding errors made in the voters’ lists and make the necessary amendments to the lists;

3.      provide the voters with voting invitations and, at their request, with voting licenses;

4.      inform the electorate about the location and the working hours of the Precinct Election Commission, the date of elections and the location of the polling station;

5.      ensure that the premises, the ballot boxes, the voting booths and information stands are available;

6.      conduct the voting operation in their respective precinct on the day of the elections;

7.      determine the total number of the eligible voters and the voters’ turnout in their respective precinct and count the votes cast for all candidates, parties and election blocs;

8.      consider appeals and complaints related to the preparation and conduct of the voting and reach a decision;

9.      perform other functions as determined by this Law.

Article 27. Rules for the appointment and nomination of the members of the Election Commissions

      1. The right to nominate candidates to the election commissions shall be granted to:

        1. public associations registered according to the existing legislation;

        2. local government and self-government bodies;

        3. voters through the submission of an application to the relevant Election Commissions; for the nomination of candidates for a District Election Commission, applications shall be signed by at least 50 voters residing in the district; those for candidates for Precinct Election Commissions shall be signed by at least 10 voters residing in the given precinct.

        4. a member of the Parliament elected in the relevant election district under by majoritarian system.

      2. An application form for the nomination or appointment of the members of the election commissions shall be submitted to the relevant bodies and election commissions; the form shall include: name, last name, date of birth, job title (profession), address and telephone number (hereinafter the "name and address") of the person to be nominated or appointed, also his or her consent to the nomination (or appointment) as a member of the election commission. For cases prescribed by Subparagraph c) of this Article, the application shall include the voters’ names, last names, dates of birth, addresses, signatures and date.

Article 28. Procedures for changing the composition of the Election Commissions

      1. Members of the election commissions may be removed from his or her position as determined by Article 18, Paragraph 10 of this Law.

      2. Upper level commissions may remove members of lower level commissions from their position (members of the Central Election Commission may be removed by the Central Election Commission itself) in case of violations of this Law or for the systematic breach of the election regulations. The decision on the removal of a member shall be passed by the majority of the total members of that commission. In such circumstance, the member in question may not be reappointed to the election commission until the next elections.

      3. In the event that a member of a commission is removed from his or her position, or in the event of death, a new commission member shall be appointed, not earlier than 5 and no later than 30 days from his or her removal, by the same body or organization that appointed the removed member.

Article 29. Assisting the Election Commissions in the performing their activities

      1. The regulations of the election commissions shall be mandatory for all state institutions, governmental organizations and mass media financed by the Government.

      2. Complaints related to the decisions and actions of an election commission may be lodged to the upper level election commission; decisions made by the Central Election Commission, may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Georgia within 3 days after the decision was made, except for cases envisaged under this Law.

Article 30. Election funds and election costs

      1. The CEC shall determine the expected costs for the conduct of the elections and it shall be determined in State Budget of the year of elections as a separate article. The actual costs shall be determined by the Central Election Commission within 2 months from the end of elections and approved by the newly elected Parliament.

      2. No later than 58 days before the elections and no later than 2 weeks after the announcement of the date of elections, the Ministry of Finance shall transfer the funds allocated for the elections from the State Budget to the account of the CEC.

      3. Every party, election bloc and majoritarian candidate nominated in the district participating in the elections shall establish an election fund by opening a bank account; they have the right to use the funds allocated by the Government, their own funds, donations from non state-owned companies registered in Georgia and donations from Georgian citizens and political organizations.

      4. The amount from the election fund spent for the election campaign by parties, election blocs and candidates participating in elections shall not exceed the amount determined by the Central Election Commission (the established amount for parties and election blocs shall be equal to the number of candidates nominated by those parties or blocs multiplied by the amount allocated for independent candidates). The election fund shall be administered by a management board composed by an administrator, an accountant and a cashier, who shall be appointed by the leaders of independent parties, or parties forming an election bloc. The fund for independent candidates shall be administered by the administrator appointed by such candidates. The administrators shall be responsible for the proper use of the election funds.

      5. The funds granted for the elections shall be transferred to the bank accounts of the parties, the election blocs and candidates, which shall be opened in banks (or their branches) of Georgia after having being registered by the Central (or District) Election Commission. The funds issued by the government of Georgia shall be transferred no later than 25 days prior to the elections.

      6. The Central Election Commission, no later than 50 days prior to the elections, shall determine the rules for the allocation and use of the election funds. The Central Election Commission shall transfer the funds allocated to the District Election Commissions to their accounts no later than 47 days prior to the elections. The Chairperson and accountant of the commissions shall be responsible and accountable for the correct and appropriate management of the funds granted to their commission. No later than 50 days after the end of the elections, the District Election Commissions shall cease all financial transactions with organizations and individuals. Within 10 days, the district Election Commissions shall transfer the residual funds in their accounts to the account of the Central Election Commission and a financial report shall be presented to the Central Election Commission within 2 weeks, in the prescribed form.

      7. Within 30 days after the end of the elections, all transactions of the election funds shall cease and the residual election funds of the candidates shall be transferred to the account of the Central Election Commission. In case of parties or election blocs having gained at least one seat in the Parliament, the residual election funds of parties shall be transferred to the accounts of these parties and the funds of the blocs shall be equally distributed among the parties forming the bloc. In all other cases, residual funds shall be transferred to the account of the Central Election Commission.

      8. A Financial Report of the election funds shall be submitted to the Central Election Commission by parties, election blocs and independent candidates participating in the elections no later than 2 months after the official results of the elections are announced; for parties and blocs that have passed the election threshold and elected candidates to the Parliament of Georgia, the Financial Report shall be submitted no later than 10 days after the day of elections. A summary from the Chamber of Control shall be attached to the Financial Report. The Chamber of Control of Georgia, the Central and District Election Commissions shall verify the legitimate administration of the election funds by the parties, the election blocs and candidates; the expenditures connected to the preparation and conduct of the elections made by the lower level commissions shall be verified by the Central Election Commissions, the expenditures of the Central Election Commission by the Parliament and by the Chamber of Control.

      9. The National Government, local self-government and government bodies shall provide the election commissions without charge the necessary premises and material for preparation and conduct of the elections. Communication expenses shall be covered by the election funds. Election commissions shall not be established in the premises where the offices of the National Government, local government and self-government bodies and/or political parties are located.

Article 31. Transparency in the operations of the Election Commissions

      1. The following persons shall be authorized to attend meetings of the election commissions and shall be granted access to the polling stations: authorized representatives of parties and election blocs participating in the elections; proxies of candidates for Member of Parliament; one representative from each of those parties who do not have appointed members in the election commissions but who are registered by the Central Election Commission according to the rules prescribed by this Law; representatives of public organizations accredited by the Central Election Commission and of the media (the application for registration and accreditation shall be submitted to the Central Election Commission no later than 10 days before the day of elections; the Central Election Commission shall reach a decision within 6 days from the submission of the application), international observers and international organizations; on election day, from the opening of the polling stations to the final counting of the votes, representatives of candidates as a Member of Parliament and of parties and blocs (one per each). The limits of the mandate of a authorized representative of a party or election bloc shall be determined by this Law and by the regulations of the Central Election Commission.

      2. The mandate of the representatives of parties or public organizations shall be certified by leaders of those parties or public organizations with their signatures and the mandate of the observers shall be validated by the signatures of the proxies for candidates for Member of Parliament and of the authorized representatives of parties or election blocs. Certifications shall be submitted to the relevant election commissions no later than 2 days before a meeting of such commission. The certificate naming the persons authorized to observe the election in the election precinct shall be submitted to precinct commissions no later than 2 days before the date of the elections. The election commission shall reach a decision within 24 hours. In case of refusal, the commission shall provide a written substantiated statement that may be appealed to the upper level election commission.

      3. The media shall cover the process of preparation and conduct of the Parliamentary elections and shall be granted unrestricted access to all election-related meetings and sessions. Election commissions, election parties and election blocs, any State institutions and public organizations shall provide the media with all information related to the preparation and conduct of the elections.

      4. The Central Election Commission has the right to publicize the current information related to the elections through daily and free of charge broadcasts on the national radio and television network; the District Election Commissions shall do the same through local networks. The information shall be broadcast by the Chairpersons of the election commissions, their deputies or by a person assigned by a commission especially with these functions.

      5. All election commissions shall regularly publish their decisions in the official mass media. Top

 

CHAPTER V

VOTERS’ LIST, VOTING INVITATION AND VOTING LICENSE

 

Article 32. Voters’ list and rules for the compilation of the voters’ lists

      1. Every Precinct Election Commission shall compile the voters’ list in two copies and the PEC Chairperson and its Secretary shall put their signature on each page.

      2. Executive Government bodies, local Government and self-Government bodies shall ensure the registration of citizens residing in the territory under their administration, including those citizens who will attain the age of 18 years on election day, by providing to the election commissions no later than 55 days prior to the elections the information necessary for the compilation of the voters’ lists. The voters’ lists shall contain: the voter’s personal number, name, surname, date of birth and address.

      3. The Ministry of Refugees and Resettlement shall provide to the District Election Commissions the lists of displaced persons no later than 55 days prior to the elections. In the event that a citizen with the status of displaced person is registered as a regular voter in one of the districts, his or her name shall be removed from the list of the displaced persons. The District Election Commissions shall compile the voters’ lists for the displaced persons according to their original place of residence and shall deliver the lists to the Precinct Election Commissions of their present residence.

      4. The voters’ lists according to election precincts created in military structures and units of military forces of Georgia, hospitals and other medical institutions, on vessels on the high seas on the day of the elections and in other state institutions of Georgia outside the country shall be compiled by respective Precinct Election Commissions on the basis of data submitted by the persons responsible for these establishments and by the captains of vessels.

Article 33. Rules for entering the names of voters into the voters’ list

      1. All Georgian citizens eligible to vote and residing permanently in an election precinct at the time of the compilation of the voters’ list, shall be included in that list; personnel of the Georgian military forces and units shall be included in the voters’ lists according to their given dislocation. Forcefully displaced persons shall be included in the voters’ lists according to their present places of residence. A separate list shall be compiled for displaced persons and they shall not participate in the majoritarian elections held in single-mandate precincts.

      2. No one shall be included in more than one voters’ list.

Article 34. Informing the electorate about the voters’ lists, and the right to lodge appeals for corrections to the voters’ lists

      1. Voters’ lists shall be publicly posted no later than 30 days prior to the elections. Appeals may be lodged to the Precinct Election Commissions no later than 20 days prior to the elections. The Precinct Election Commissions shall deliver the appeals to the relevant District Election Commission. If the appeal is upheld, the District Election Commission shall ensure that the name of the appellant is added to the voters’ lists; the voters’ lists shall be published no later than 10 days prior to the elections. If an appeal is rejected, the appellant has the right to lodge a further appeal to the district (municipal) Court within 3 days. The Court shall reach a decision on each appeal within 3 days from its receipt. The decision of a district Court shall be final and may not be appealed. If the appeal is upheld, the appellant shall be added to the voters’ list according to the Court’s decision.

      2. Commission members assigned to work in a different Precinct Election Commission of the same District Election Commission [from the one where they are registered] shall be added to the supplementary voters’ lists. In these cases, such voters shall vote upon production of an Identity Document. In the event that a person is assigned as a member of the Precinct Election Commission of a different single-mandate district, he or she shall participate only in the proportional elections.

Article 35. Voting license and supplementary voters’ list

      1. If a voter changes residence within the country but not within the district of a city in the period of time between the official publishing of the voters’ lists and day of the election, the Precinct Election Commission, upon the request of this voter and upon the production of his or her Passport or any other identification document, shall issue a voting license; the voter’s name shall be removed from voters’ list. The voter shall certify the removal of his or name from the voters’ list and the receipt of the voting license with his or her signature.

      2. Upon the production of the voting license, a voter shall be included in the supplementary voters’ list in the election precinct of his or her residence on election day.

      3. A voter who votes by voting license in a different single-mandate election district shall not be entitled to vote in the elections of the nominated candidates held in a single mandate district and shall not be provided with such ballot paper. Top

 

CHAPTER VI

NOMINATION AND REGISTRATION OF THE CANDIDATES, BALLOT PAPERS

 

Article 36. Incompatibility of a Member of Parliament holding Public Office

The President of Georgia, the heads of governmental institutions and state structures and their deputies, the members of the Council of Security of Georgia, members of the Council of the National Bank, the head of the Chamber of Control and his or her deputies, the head of the staff of the Parliament of Georgia, the President’s representatives in the regions and their deputies, the heads of local government and self-government bodies and their deputies and Secretaries in the regions, cities, districts of cities and rayons, the officials of the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Defense, and State Security, the officials of the State Intelligence and Border Protection Services and Special Service for State Protection, judges and their assistants, the Public Defender of Georgia and his or her deputies, the members of the Presidents Advisory Board (who are not members of representative bodies), the assistants of the President of Georgia, the members of the Council for Auditing Activities, the National Commission for Securities of Georgia, the Commission for the Standards for Accounting Records and the National Commission for Regulating the Energy of Georgia, the Chairperson of the Information Bureau on Property and Financial Conditions of Officials and deputies, the Prosecutors, their deputies, assistants and investigators shall resign before being registered as a candidate for a Member of Parliament.

Article 37. Submission of Party Lists

      1. The political parties and election blocs participating in the elections shall have the right to submit party lists.

      2. Each party or election bloc participating in the elections shall have the right to submit a party list. The number of candidates in the party list shall not be less than 100 and shall not exceed 235.

      3. No candidate shall be included in a party list that at the same time is a member of another party participating in the elections, except for parties forming the same election bloc. No person shall be included in more than one party list.

      4. The rules for the compilation of the party lists shall be determined by the parties and election blocs themselves. For the compilation of the list, the parties and election blocs shall take into account the fact that the mandates received will be distributed according to their sequence from the top of the list.

      5. The party lists shall include the first name, last name, date of birth, profession and party affiliation of each candidate. The lists shall be include the signature of the leader of the independent party or the signatures of the leaders of the parties forming the election bloc.

      6. The party lists shall be submitted to the Central Election Commission after the announcement of the elections and no later than 36 days prior to the elections. Registration forms signed by the candidates shall be attached to the lists, together with the number of Citizenship Identity Card of Georgia, two photos and a statement confirming the candidate’s intention to stand for the elections with the given party. If a candidate is standing in a single-mandate election district he or she shall certify his or her intention to stand in that election district as a candidate of a party or election bloc (the Central Election Commission shall distribute sufficiently in advance the registration forms among the authorized representatives of the parties and election blocs). The forms shall be issued to the authorized representatives of the parties and election blocs together with a dated notification of receipt of the documents.

Article 38. Nomination of candidates in the Election Districts

      1. Parties, election blocs and initiative groups of voters consisting of at least 5 members shall be granted the right to nominate their candidates in the election districts. A party, election bloc or initiative group of voters shall nominate a candidate in an election district if the candidate is supported by no less than 1,000 voters living in that district, with the exception for candidates elected as a Member of Parliament in the previous elections.

      2. A candidate may be nominated only in one election district.

      3. To nominate a candidate, an initiative group of voters shall submit an application to the District Election Commission no later than 40 days prior to the elections. The application shall be signed by all members of the initiative group of voters with the indication of the number of the Citizenship Identity Card of Georgia, two photos, address, first name, last name, profession, job title, party affiliation for a candidate as a Member of Parliament, and the number of the election district in which he or she is standing for the elections. To the application there shall be attached the registration form signed by the candidate (in two copies) including personal information and a statement confirming the candidate’s intention to stand for the elections in that election district (the District Election Commission shall provide sufficiently in advance the registration forms to an initiative group of voters). The District Election Commission shall forward one copy of the completed registration forms to the Central Election Commission no later than 36 days prior to the elections.

      4. Upon submission of these documents, initiative groups of voters shall be provided with a dated notification of receipt of the documents granting authorization to collect signatures of supporters and with the lists for collecting the signatures.

      5. The completed and signed lists, together with the application of an initiative group of voters, shall specify the number of lists and the total number of signatures and shall be submitted to the District Election Commission no later than 36 days prior to the elections.

      6. Together with all the above documents, the initiative group shall receive a notification certifying the nomination of a candidate as a Member of the Parliament. The notification shall include the date of receipt of documents.

Article 39. Lists of supporters for parties and candidates and verification process

      1. The voters of election districts shall confirm their support to parties and candidates standing for elections in their respective districts by placing their signatures on appropriate lists.

      2. The Central and District Election Commissions shall verify the authenticity of the signatures according to the rules determined by the Central Election Commission. Lists that are not properly validated by the collectors of signatures in accordance with the established rules shall be considered invalid. Lists missing details about voters who have signed other than their signatures, or lists not containing correct information shall also be considered invalid. All signatures made by fraud, threat or force, if confirmed in writing by the signed persons, forged signatures and those made by different persons, if confirmed in writing by the signed persons, shall be considered invalid. The lists of party supporters shall be verified and a decision shall be made within 14 days. The process of verifying the authenticity of the signatures and its certification shall terminate 1 day before the end of the registration of candidates in the election districts. If the number of validated signatures on a list of party supporters is less than 50,000 and the number of validated signatures in a list of supporters for a candidate is less than 1,000, such parties and candidates shall not be registered.

      3. The right to verify the lists of supporters shall be granted to the election commissions only and, in case of complaints, to the Courts. The lists of supporters shall be destroyed no later than 20 days prior to the elections.

Article 40. Registering Party lists and Candidates

      1. Party lists shall be registered by the Central Election Commission and the list of candidates nominated by the parties in the various election districts shall be immediately forwarded to the relevant District Election Commissions. The District Election Commissions shall register the independent candidates and immediately forward the registration forms to the Central Election Commission. The registration of party lists and candidates shall terminate no later than 25 days prior to the elections.

      2. If the Supreme Court rejects the refusal of the Central Election Commission to register a party or an election bloc, that party or election bloc shall be registered within 3 days from the ruling of Court.

      3. The registration of party lists and candidates shall be certified if all documents listed in Articles 37, 38 and 39 are submitted to the Central Election Commission.

      4. If documents submitted to the Central Election Commission do not comply with all requirements of this Law, or if these contain incorrect or incomplete data, particularly if there is or was the consent of the same person to stand for elections for president, for a member of the highest representative body of the Autonomous Republic and of self-government bodies, and for Member of Parliament, or to stand for elections through the party lists of different parties and election blocs, or for voting in different election districts, they shall be refused to be registered, or if they are already registered, they will be removed from elections by the Central Election Commission.

      5. If 2 days before the day of the elections the number of candidates in a party list submitted to a district commission is less than the number determined by Article 37 of this Law, the registration of that party list shall be cancelled.

      6. If the registration of a candidate nominated to a district is cancelled, or if a candidate withdraws from the elections for any other reason, the remaining candidates nominated to the district shall retain the position on the ballot papers as determined by casting of lots.

      7. In case of refusal of registration or cancellation of registration of candidates as members of the Parliament, the authorized representatives of parties and election blocs which submitted the party lists to the Central Election Commission have the right to lodge an appeal to the Central Election Commission against the decision of the District Election Commissions, or to the Supreme Court of Georgia against the decision of the Central Election Commission within 3 days from the notification of the refusal. The Central Election Commission or the Supreme Court of Georgia shall reach a decision within 3 days from the submission of the appeal.

      8. The Central Election Commissions shall publicize the lists of the registered parties through the official media; the District Election Commissions shall publicize the lists of candidates together with the details to be included in the ballot papers through the local media no later than 15 days prior to the elections.

      9. The position of the parties [on the ballot paper] participating in the elections shall be determined according with to the results gained by the parties (or blocs) participating in the previous Parliamentary elections. If a bloc that participated in the previous Parliamentary elections does not participate in the elections, the parties included on the list of the bloc shall respectively be entitled to participate with the position number of the bloc. If parties that have independently participated in the previous elections form an election bloc, these parties shall indicate in the regulations of the bloc the right of which party forming the bloc they exercise when assigned with a sequence number. In such a case, the parties (blocs) following them in sequence shall respectively be moved forward;

      10. The position of parties (or blocs), except for parties (or blocs) mentioned in Paragraph 9 of this Article, shall be determined by casting of lots and the Central Election Commission shall determine the rules for this procedure. The casting of lots shall be held no later than 45 days before the elections. If parties will be forming an election bloc, the regulations of the bloc shall indicate the right of which party forming the bloc they exercise when assigned with a sequence number.

      11. The position of the candidates nominated to the district shall be determined by casting of lots and the CEC shall determine the rule for this procedure. The casting of lots shall be held no later than 25 days prior to the elections.

Article 41. Removal and Resignation of Candidates.

1. The independent parties and election blocs participating in the elections may withdraw their candidates at any time, but no later than 3 days before the elections or after the mandate of a member of the Parliament is recognized, except for cases when the mandate of a member of the Parliament elected according to a list is terminated before the recognition of the replaced person. A candidate shall be removed by the Central Election Commission on the basis of an application signed by the leader of the party participating in the elections (a person determined by the regulations and application of the election bloc).

2. The candidates nominated in the election districts may withdraw their candidacy 3 days before the elections. To do so, they shall submit an application to the District Election Commissions that, in turn, shall immediately notify the Central Election Commission about this event. Candidates nominated on the party lists may withdraw their candidature at any time and they shall submit an application to the Central Election Commission. In such cases, the candidates shall immediately be removed from the election districts.

3. The election commissions shall publicize the above information within 3 days from receiving an application, but if less than 4 days are left before the elections, they shall do this immediately.

Article 42. The ballot papers

      1. The design of the ballot papers for the elections shall be determined by the regulations of the CEC.

      2. The Central Election Commission shall print the ballot papers in Georgian and Abkhazian (for Abkhazia) languages and in the other languages of citizens living in the territory of a given election district.

      3. The number of ballot papers shall be accurately accounted for. Central and District Election Commissions shall supply the respective District and Precinct Election Commissions with ballot papers. Each District and Precinct Election Commission shall receive a number of ballot papers equivalent to the total number of voters in that district or precinct. The Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson or the Secretary shall certify the receipt of ballot papers with their signatures. Top

 

CHAPTER VII

RIGHTS OF PARTIES, ELECTION BLOCS AND CANDIDATES PARTICIPATING IN THE ELECTIONS

 

Article 43. Election programs of parties, election blocs and candidates

      1. Candidates of parties and election blocs are entitled to inform the electorate about their election programs, as well as candidates nominated to a district. Their programs shall not advocate war and violence, call for a violent change of the political system or the overthrow of the existing Government nor shall they jeopardize the territorial integrity of the Country, incite ethnic hatred and rivalry or promote religious confrontation.

      2. The Central Election Commission shall ensure that the election programs of the parties and election blocs are publicized by the official and local media. The District Election Commissions shall ensure the publication and distribution of information about the parties and candidates registered in their respective election districts through the nominated party list and the list of candidates registered in the district. The information shall include biographic data and the basic objectives of the election programs of the candidates, and all the necessary documentation shall be submitted to the relevant election commissions no later than 25 days prior to elections.

Article 44. Authorized representatives of parties, election blocs and candidates

      1. Each party or election bloc after being registered by the Central Election Commission may appoint one authorized representative to each election district that, together with the authorized representative appointed to the Central Election Commission, shall represent the party or the election bloc in their activities with the election commissions, governmental and public organizations. The authorized representatives of the parties or election blocs appointed to the Central Election Commission shall appoint representatives to the District Election Commissions.

      2. Each candidate may appoint no more than 10 proxies who shall represent the candidate in election activities.

      3. Candidates shall assign their proxies and provide them with the certificates issued by the election commissions.

      4. The parties, election blocs and candidates may remove or replace authorized representatives or proxies at any time and shall notify the relevant election commission about this event. Authorized representatives and proxies may resign at any time prior to elections.

      5. The authorized representatives of parties and election blocs and the proxies of candidates, upon submitting the relevant application and documents, shall be granted a period of unpaid leave until the consolidation of the election results. However, the heads of their institutions, establishments and organizations may retain for them the normal salaries.

Article 45. Releasing of candidates from their duties during the Election Campaign

      1. The candidates as members of the Parliament, upon the submission of a relevant application and documents, may be granted a period of unpaid leave up to the end of the election campaign. However, the heads of their institutions, establishments and organizations may reserve for them the normal salaries.

      2. After being registered, candidates shall not be called for military service or military training. If a candidate serves in the military forces, he or she shall be released from such service until the day after the elections. The elected members of Parliament shall be released from military service for the entire term of their office.

Article 46. Immunity of candidates

Candidates for Member of Parliament may not be subject to criminal charge, detention, arrest or search before the consolidation of the election results without the authorization of the CEC upon notification of the Procurator’s office, except in cases when a candidate is caught while committing a crime, in which case the Central Election Commission shall immediately be notified. If the Central Election Commission does not authorize the detention or arrest of a candidate, the person shall immediately be released.

Article 47. Election campaign

      1. Candidates shall have equal rights from the moment of their registration and for the entire period of the election campaign.

      2. Citizens of Georgia, parties, public associations, authorized representatives and proxies are entitled to campaign in favor of or against the parties, election blocs and candidates.

      3. The election commissions, together with local government bodies and public organizations, are required to facilitate the arrangement of election meetings, provided that the time and the place of a meeting is announced in a timely manner.

      4. From the time of their registration, the parties, election blocs and candidates have the right to design election slogans, statements, inscriptions, papers, photos, etc. (hereinafter "posters").

      5. The District Election Commissions together with public institutions shall ensure the publication and distribution of election information no later than 15 days prior to the elections. Such information shall include the party lists, the lists of candidates, their programs and biographic data. In case of failure to submit such information in a timely manner, only the official data available in the election commissions will be published.

      6. The local representatives or executive authorities may prohibit the display of election posters on certain public buildings with the intent of protecting architectural and cultural monuments and traffic safety. No one has the right to remove, tear or damage election posters if they are not displayed in forbidden places. Such actions shall be punished according to the legislation of Georgia.

      7. Any campaigning on the day of elections, except display of campaign materials previously set up outside polling stations shall be prohibited.

      8. During the election campaign, the public television and radio stations shall allot 3 hours every day free of charge and equally distributed among the parties for election campaigning. The broadcasting time granted by private television and radio stations for political campaigning, both with and without charge, shall be distributed equally among the parties and election blocs. The conditions of these broadcasts must be submitted to the election commissions. If any party does not make use of its TV or radio time, the same shall not be given to other parties. The cost for TV or radio broadcasting shall be the same for every party. The election commissions, in cooperation with the TV and radio stations, shall ensure the creation and observance of a timetable of political broadcasts.

      9. The time allotted to candidates standing in single-mandate election districts shall be equally distributed among them.

      10. Except for the period of time specifically established for election campaigning, the President of Georgia, members of Parliament and other officials shall not be allowed to make election campaign statements. In addition, statements by candidates for President or Member of Parliament shall also be prohibited, with the exception for those related to official information.

      11. During the election campaign no one shall be replaced or appointed to the high-ranking offices of local government and self-government bodies, procurator's office or police, except in cases determined by Law.

      12. From the day of the official announcement of the elections for the Parliament of Georgia in local newspapers until the announcement of the final results of the elections, parties and election blocs participating in the elections, their authorized representatives and the proxies of the candidates nominated to the districts, shall be prohibited from offering money, presents and other items of monetary value to voters, from selling goods at privileged costs, from delivering or disseminating any kind of free goods, except for the propaganda materials as prescribed by this Law, from influencing the voters with promises of money, securities and other items of monetary value. In case of confirmation of such illicit acts by the Court, the registration of a party, an election bloc or a candidate for Member of Parliament participating in the elections shall be cancelled according to the decision of the relevant election commission.

Article 48. Public information during the preparation and conduct of the Elections

      1. The election commissions shall ensure that the preparation and conduct of the elections will take place in a transparent and public manner. The election commissions shall keep the electorate informed on the election activities, on their establishment, on their composition, location and working hours. Voters must be informed about voters’ lists, the party lists and the lists of candidates standing for elections in the election districts. They must be aware of the election programs of the parties, election blocs and candidates. The voters shall be informed on the candidates for the members of the Parliament and on the results of the elections.

      2. Independent parties and election blocs participating in the elections are entitled to publicize their programs and platforms in the official and local media. Candidates are entitled to publish articles related to their election campaign in the local media. For this purpose they shall provide their programs and platforms to the editorial boards of the newspapers no later than 25 days prior to the elections. These documents shall be published following the order of their submission.

      3. The Central Election Commission shall determine the list of newspapers and magazines that shall publish the election documents at no charge. The regulations for their activities shall be determined by the CEC.

      4. Results of opinion polls shall not be published in the last 10 days before the elections.Top

 

CHAPTER VIII

VOTING AND COUNTING PROCEDURES. ELECTIONS OF REPLACED OR WITHDRAWN MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND NOMINATION OF their substitutes

 

Article 49. Time and place of voting

      1. Voting hours for the elections to the Parliament of Georgia shall be from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The Precinct Election Commissions shall inform the electorate about the time and place of the elections no later than 3 days prior to the elections.

      2. No one is entitled to obstruct the access to the polling station during the process of voting or to disrupt the voting, except in cases determined by the Central Election Commission.

      3. For the election precincts established in hospitals and other medical institutions, in structures and units of the military forces of Georgia, on vessels on the high seas on the day of elections or in inaccessible places, the Precinct Election Commissions may declare the polling station closed when all the voters on the voters’ register have voted.

Article 50. Organizing the Voting

      1. The voting shall be held in polling stations specially established in premises not in use by any party or election block. In the polling stations there shall be sufficient rooms and voting booths; the place for issuing ballot papers shall be determined in advance and ballot boxes shall be set up. The ballot boxes shall be located in a way that the voters before reaching them must pass through the rooms or voting booths. Pens shall be provided in the rooms and voting booths. The lists of parties and candidates nominated in the election districts and the procedures explaining how to mark the ballot papers shall be displayed in all polling stations.

      2. If any party, election bloc or candidate included in the ballot papers is no longer taking part in the elections, a notice shall be displayed in public places in the election precinct as well as in the rooms and voting booths.

      3. The Precinct Election Commission and personally the PEC Chairperson shall be responsible for organizing the voting, objectively respecting the will of the voters, ensuring the secrecy of the vote and properly arranging the polling station. The PEC Chairperson shall be in charge and responsible for maintaining the order at the polling station on election day. Each person and voter who has the right to be present at the polling station shall be obliged to comply with the PEC Chairperson’s decision about the order at the polling station. Police officers shall be admitted in the polling station only if authorized by the PEC Chairperson and with the responsibility of preventing violations and maintaining order. A voter may be in a polling station only for the time required for voting.

      4. On the day of the elections, before the beginning of the voting, the Chairperson of the Precinct Election Commission shall declare the number of ballot papers that he or she has received. The Chairperson, in the presence of the other commission members and of the other persons having the right to be present, shall verify and seal the ballot boxes. A Control Sheet signed by the members of commission and by the first voter who comes for voting, shall be placed into the ballot box. The time of the beginning of the voting shall be indicated on the Control Sheet.

      5. Each voter shall vote personally. No one is entitled to vote for another person. The Precinct Election Commissions shall issue the ballot papers in accordance with the voters’ registers or voting licenses upon the production of a Citizenship Identity Card of Georgia. When a ballot paper is issued, the number of the Identity Card shall be recorded on the voters’ register.

      6. Voters shall confirm the receipt of ballot papers by placing their signatures on the voters’ register. The voting licenses shall be retained and attached to supplementary voters’ list.

      7. Voters living in a precinct who inadvertently are not included in the voters’ list, at the submission of their Identity Cards and the place of residence, shall be included in the supplementary voters’ list.

      8. In cases of voters not able to come in person to the polling station due to their health or to any other reason, upon request of these voters - which shall be delivered to the Precinct Election Commissions no later than 6:00 PM the day before elections and shall be recorded in the appropriate protocol - the Precinct Election Commission shall arrange for voting at their places of residence on the basis of an attachment to the voters’ register. A special statement shall be entered in the voters’ register with respect to this procedure. In such cases at least 2 members of the Precinct Election Commissions shall participate in conducting the voting; any other person who has the right to be present at the meetings of the Precinct Election Commission may also attend the voting. For such voting procedure a portable ballot box shall be used. This voting procedure shall be followed for voters committed to penitentiary establishments without the sentence of the Court.

Article 51. Voting procedures

      1. The ballot papers shall be validated by the signatures of 2 members of the Precinct Election Commission and by the commission seal.

      2. Voters shall mark the ballot papers in the rooms or in the voting booths. No one has the right to observe the act of voting. Any person who is unable to mark the ballot paper without help may request the presence - in the room or in the voting booth - of any other person, with the exception of members of the election commission, proxies of candidates or authorized representatives appointed by parties or election blocs and observers.

      3. If a voter or a member of the Commission standing at the ballot box unintentionally spoils a ballot paper, the voter may request the Chairperson or the Secretary of the Precinct Election Commission for a new ballot paper. A corner of the spoiled ballot paper shall be torn off in the presence of the voter and kept separately.

      4. The voter shall place the marked ballot papers into the ballot boxes.

      5. The members of the Precinct Election Commission and the persons authorized to be present at the election precincts may request the voter to show them ballot papers to ensure that the voter is holding only the necessary number of ballot papers. Voters are obliged to satisfy this requirement.

      6. The polling stations shall be closed at 8:00 PM. Voters who are inside the voting premises at this time shall be allowed to vote.

Article 52. Counting of votes at the Election Precincts

      1. For the counting procedures the following steps shall be followed:

        1. After the end of voting, the Precinct Election Commission shall count and package the unused ballot papers; the number and the name of the election precinct, the number and type of unused ballot papers shall be indicated on each package; the signatures of the Chairperson (or Deputy Chairperson) and the Secretary of the Commission and the Commission stamp shall be placed on each package; the spoiled ballot papers shall also be counted, packaged together and recorded in the above described manner;

        2. The Precinct Election Commission shall ascertain the total number of voters living in the given precinct and the number of voters participating in the elections or who have received the ballot papers on the basis of the regular and the supplementary voters’ lists;

        3. The Chairperson of the Precinct Election Commission, in the presence of the other members of the Commission, shall check the seal on the ballot box, open it and verify whether or not the Control Sheet is available; if the Control Sheet is not in the ballot box, the Commission shall attach an explanatory statement to the Commission Protocol;

        4. The Commission shall count the number of ballot papers of each color and type separately; unofficial ballot papers shall be counted separately; ballot papers considered invalid or unofficial shall be placed in different envelopes according to their colors; the envelopes shall be sealed in such a manner that it would be impossible to insert or extract the ballot papers without tampering the seal; on the envelope shall be indicated the name and the number of the election precinct and the number and type of ballot papers;

        5. A ballot paper shall be considered valid if a voter has voted for a party or election bloc in accordance with above prescribed procedures, otherwise the ballot paper shall be considered invalid;

        6. A ballot paper shall be considered invalid if it is impossible to determine which candidate the voter has voted for, in all other cases the ballot paper shall be considered valid;

        7. The Commission shall sort and count separately the votes received by each candidate; the ballot papers shall be packaged in the manner described in Subparagraph d) of this Article; each envelope shall indicate the name and number of the election precinct, the last name of the candidate for member of Parliament and the number of ballot papers that the envelope contains;

        8. The Commission shall sort and count the votes received by each party or election bloc; the ballot papers shall be packaged in the manner described in Subparagraph d) of this Article; each envelope shall indicate the name and number of the election precinct, the name of the party or election bloc and the number of ballot papers contained in the envelope;

        9. The Precinct Election Commission shall hold a meeting to certify the results of the counting of the votes. Two protocols shall be completed: one protocol shall indicate the number of votes received by each candidate nominated in the given district; the other protocol shall indicate the number of votes received by each party or election bloc. The number of copies of the protocols shall exceed the number of candidates, parties and election blocs by 3; each copy of the protocols shall be stamped and signed by the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson, the Secretary and the other members of the Commission.

        10. Two copies of each protocol and all ballot papers shall be immediately forwarded to the District Election Commission in the way determined by the latter; one copy of each protocol shall be kept in the Precinct Election Commission; one copy of each protocol shall be provided to the parties and election blocs and to the proxies of the candidates.

      2. In case of doubts with respect to the validity of a ballot paper, the Precinct Election Commission shall resolve the question by casting of votes. The determination of this voting shall be recorded into the protocol and such ballot papers shall be tied together as described above.

Article 53. Consolidation of the election results by the District Election Commissions

      1. The District Election Commissions on the basis of protocols received from the Precinct Election Commissions shall determine the number of spoiled and unused ballot papers, the total number of voters, the number of voters who have participated in the elections, the number of valid, invalid and unofficial ballot papers, the number of votes received by each candidate in the election districts and the results of the elections.

      2. The elections shall be considered valid if at least one third of the total number of voters has participated.

      3. The candidate who has received the majority of votes in an election district - but not less than one third of the total number of people having participated in the elections - shall be considered elected.

      4. The District Election Commissions shall hold a session to consolidate the results of the elections and complete the relevant protocols.

      5. The number of copies of the protocols shall exceed the number of the candidates nominated in the district by 2. The Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson, the Secretary and the members of the Commission shall sign each copy of the protocols.

      6. The protocols of the District Election Commission and one copy of the protocols of each Precinct Election Commission shall be delivered to the Central Election Commission no later than 5 days after the elections in the way determined by the Central Election Commission; one copy shall be kept in the District Election Commission and one shall be provided to the proxies of each candidate.

      7. One copy of the protocol of the Precinct Election Commissions with the results according to the party lists shall be immediately delivered to the Central Election Commission in the way determined by the Central Election Commission itself.

      8. The elections in an election precinct may be declared invalid with an announcement made by the Precinct Election Commission on the day of election between 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Such announcement shall be recorded in the protocol for violations and shall include the following: the date and place of the compilation of the protocol; the title, first and last name of the person who has compiled the protocol; the personal details of the person who has infringed the rules; place, time and essence of the violation; last names and addresses of witnesses; explanation of a person who has violated the rules and other additional information.

      9. The Precinct Election Commission shall submit to the District Election Commission the announcement described in Paragraph 8 of this Article together with the protocol, within 1 day after the elections. The District Election Commission shall consider the announcement within 2 days and immediately submit to the Central Election Commission its statement on the declaration of the elections as invalid.

      10. An announcement of invalidation shall not be considered if it is determined and submitted in violation of the regulations established under this Article.

Article 54. Consolidation of the election results by the Central Election Commission

      1. The elections to the Parliament of Georgia according to the party lists shall be considered valid if at least one-third of the total number of voters has taken part.

      2. If no candidate is elected in the first round, a second round of elections shall be held for the two candidates with the best results from the first round. In case several candidates are tied for the first place or several candidates are tied for the second place, all the candidates shall take part in the second round. The Central Election Commission shall set a day for the second round of the elections. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the second round of the elections shall be considered elected. In case of a tie, the candidate who received the higher number of votes in the first round shall be considered elected.

      3. On the basis of the protocols received from the District and Precinct Election Commissions, within no more than 10 days after the day of the elections, during its sessions, the Central Election Commission shall consolidate the results of the elections to the Parliament of Georgia and complete the relevant protocol.

      4. One copy of the protocol shall be kept at the Central Election Commission, one copy shall be presented to the Parliament of Georgia and one copy shall be provided to the authorized representatives of all parties and election blocs.

      5. On the basis of records submitted by the Precinct Election Commissions, the Central Election Commission shall determine the number of valid, invalid and unofficial ballot papers, the number of votes received by the parties and election blocs and the number of seats won by the parties and election blocs.

      6. The mandate of Member of Parliament of Georgia shall be granted only to party lists that have received at least 7% of the total votes. To determine the number of mandates won by a party list, the number of votes received by a given party list shall be multiplied by 150 and divided by the number of votes received by all parties. The result of the quotient shall be equal to the number of mandates received by the party list.

      7. If the number of mandates determined in the manner described above is less than 150, one of the remaining mandates shall be given to those party lists that have received the highest number of votes. If the number of votes received by two or more party lists is equal, the mandate shall be granted to the list that has been registered first.

      8. If any candidate is elected in an election district as well as by a party list, the candidate shall be considered as elected in the election district, shall be removed from the party list and the candidate positioned next in the party list will move up in the list. Those candidates shall be considered as elected by party list whose ordinal numbers are less than or equal to the number of mandates won by the party list. The total number of the elected candidates of a party list shall not be changed.

      9. The Central Election Commission may declare invalid the elections in election precincts where serious violations of this Law have taken place. The Central Election Commission shall consider these cases no later than 5 days after the elections.

      10. When an election is declared invalid in an election precinct, the Central Election Commission shall set new elections for the candidates running in the district if in these precincts the total number of voters is higher than the difference between the number of votes gained by the candidate with the best results and the candidate having the second best results; or when a new voting is to be held for the party lists, if the number of voters in the given precinct exceeds 10% of the total number of voters. The new voting shall be held within 2 weeks after the conclusion of the general elections. If after the new voting the elections are considered invalid once more, the final results of the elections shall be determined without taking into account such precincts.

      11. In the relevant protocol there shall be indicated the following information: the name and number of the election districts and precincts where the elections were considered invalid, the number of voters, the reasons for considering the elections invalid, the total number of voters in the election district, the voters’ turnout, the number of elected members of Parliament and the list of elected candidates sorted in alphabetical order.

      12. Within 5 days after the consolidation of the election results, the Central Election Commissions shall announce the official results of the elections through the national TV, radio and press.

Article 55. New voting in the Election Precincts

      1. The new voting in election precincts shall be determined by the Central Election Commission.

      2. The relevant District Election Commission shall organize the new voting within 2 weeks after the general elections. The District Election Commission has the right to appoint new Precinct Election Commission members for the conduct of the new election.

Article 56. Registration of the newly elected Members of the Parliament

The Central Election Commission shall register the newly elected Members of the Parliament within 5 days after the official announcement of the results and shall provide them with temporary certificates for Members of Parliament.

Article 57. New elections in single-mandate districts where elections were not held for the replacement of a withdrawn member of the Parliament, regulations for his or her substitution

      1. In case the elections are not held in a single-mandate district in accordance with Article 54 of this Law, in case of termination of the mandate of a Member of Parliament elected in single-mandate election districts or due to his or her resignation or withdrawal for any other reason, new elections shall be held in the given election districts. The new elections shall be established by the Central Election Commission no later than 3 months before the elections and they shall be held in accordance with the requirements of this Law.

      2. Elections for the replacement of a withdrawn Member of the Parliament elected in single-mandate election districts shall be held twice a year, in May - June and in October - November. The elections shall be held as soon as possible. No elections for the replacement of members of Parliament shall be held within the last 6 months prior to the end of the mandate of the Parliament.

      3. If a withdrawn Member of the Parliament has been elected by a party list, within 1 month the next candidate in the same party list shall replace such member, provided that the candidate, within 15 days, will give his or her consent to be appointed as a Member of the Parliament. If the candidate refuses to be appointed as a Member of Parliament, he or she shall be removed from the party list and replaced by the candidate positioned next in the list and so forth. If there are no more candidates on the party list, the vacant mandate shall be cancelled.

      4. In cases envisaged by Paragraph 3 of this Article, the Central Election Commission shall present all necessary documentation to the Credential Committee of the Parliament.

      5. The elected candidates for the members of the Parliament shall be removed from their party lists.

Article 58. Procedures for storing the documents and valuable materials of the District Election Commissions

        1. After the end of elections, the District Election Commissions shall make an inventory of the documents and valuable materials in their possession. All documents and materials shall be stored in the premises provided by the local administrations for not less than 5 years.

        2. The local administrations and the District Election Commissions shall be responsible for the storage of the materials necessary for holding of the elections. Top

 

CHAPTER IX

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS FOR THE 1999 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

 

Article 59.

Before the complete restoration of the jurisdiction of Georgia in Abkhazia and before the necessary conditions are created for the elections of members of the Parliament of Georgia:

1.      Citizens elected from Abkhazia as a result of the 1992 elections who are members of the Parliament of Georgia by the time of the enforcement of this Law, shall have their mandate as members of the Parliament extended. At the time of acknowledgement of the election of members of the Parliament of Georgia and their mandate as valid in the single-mandate districts of Abkhazia, the mandate of a Member of the Parliament who had extended authority shall be terminated.

2.      If a Member of Parliament, as prescribed by Subparagraph a) of this Article, is registered as a candidate for a Member of Parliament, his or her mandate shall not be extended.

Article 60.

The Central Election Commission shall be established for the 1999 Parliamentary Election by the following rules:

1.      The President of Georgia shall appoint 4 members of the Central Election Commission and its Chairperson for a 5-year term with the consent of the Parliament within 30 days from the enforcement of this Law.

2.      The Parliament of Georgia shall appoint 5 members of the Central Election Commission within 30 days from the enforcement of the Law, with the term and rules established by Article 21, Paragraph 2, of this Law. From the total of these 5 members, the number of the member appointed by Parliamentary majority shall not exceed 3.

3.      The highest representative bodies of Adjara and Abkhazia shall appoint their members to the Central Election Commission within 30 days from the enforcement of this Law and for the term determined by Article 21, Paragraph 2, of this Law.

4.      Within 30 days from the enforcement of this Law, the seven political parties (or election blocs) having the best results in the 1998 elections of the local self-government representative bodies (Sakrebulos) held under the proportional system (according to results of the cities of Tbilisi, Batumi, Rustavi, Kutaisi, Poti and rayons) may appoint one member to the Central Election Commission. The mandate of these members shall last until one of the five political parties (or election blocs) having the best results in the 1999 Parliamentary elections will appoint its member.

Article 61.

For the 1999 Parliamentary elections the Central Election Commission shall appoint the Chairperson and 6 members of the District Election Commissions; the other 7 members shall be appointed by the political parties (or election blocs) as established by Article 60, Paragraph d), for the term determined under the same paragraph.

Article 62.

For the 1999 Parliamentary elections the District Election Commissions shall appoint the Chairperson and 6 members for each Precinct Election Commission; the other 7 members shall be appointed by the political parties (or election blocs) as established by Article 60, Paragraph d).

Article 63.

The mandate of the Central Election Commission established in accordance with the Transitional Provisions of this Law shall commence on the 30th day from the day of enforcement of this Law. The mandate of the existing Central and District Election Commission shall be terminated after the first meeting of the respective election commission established in accordance with the rules of this Law is held.

Article 64.

Remuneration for the members of the Central Election Commission shall be provided as soon as the mandate of the Central Election Commission established in accordance with the rules determined by this Law will begin.

Article 65.

The District Election Commissions shall be established within 45 days from the enforcement of this Law.

Article 66.

      1. The voters’ lists for the 1999 Parliamentary elections shall be compiled on the basis of voter registration, its rules and regulations shall be determined by the Central Election Commission.

      2. For the 1999 Parliamentary elections the phrase in Article 50, Paragraph 5: "upon the production of a Citizenship Identity Card of Georgia. When a ballot paper is issued, the number of the Identity Card shall be recorded on the voters’ register." shall be replaced with the phrase: "after a photo Identity Card issued by a State body or a Refugee Card is presented."

Article 67.

      1. The parties registered for the elections by the Central Election Commission before the enforcement of this Law, to participate in the forthcoming elections shall submit, no later than 55 days prior to the elections, a new application for registration to the Central Election Commission.

      2. The non-Parliamentary parties not registered by the Central Election Commission for the elections shall submit an application to the Central Election Commission, together with a list of supporters within 15 days from the day of enforcement of this Law in accordance with the rules established by Article 13.

Article 68.

In the 1999 Parliamentary elections, the sequence of the parties determined by Article 40, Paragraph 9, shall be established in accordance with the results gained by the parties in the 1998 Elections of local representative bodies (Sakrebulos) held under proportional system (according to the results in the cities: Tbilisi, Batumi, Rustavi, Kutaisi, Poti and in the regional Sakrebulos).

The President of Georgia Edward Shevardnadze

The Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia Vakhtang Goguadze

Tbilisi, 1 September 1995

Amendments: 17 October 1997

3 March 1999

25 June 1999

20 July 1999

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