The purpose of the Inter Agency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections (IATF) is twofold. First, it will coordinate measures taken by State Agencies to ensure that the upcoming Parliamentary elections are carried out freely and fairly in accordance both with Georgian law and with international standards. Second, it will ensure that all stakeholders have timely access to all information related to these elections.

The elections will be run by the independent Central Election Commission and by commissions at the district and precinct levels. The IATF does not interfere with this work. Instead, the mandate of the IATF is to:

·facilitate rapid response to election related enquiries through the coordination of the activities of the various branches of the executive government;

·act as a single point of contact for interested stakeholders;

·when necessary, provide an inter-agency framework for the discussion of recommendations that contribute to the performance of free and fair election standards.


The IATF has been first created to ensure free and fair extraordinary presidential elections on January 5, 2008. The IATF has efficiently coordinated the work of relevant state agencies, communicated with international and domestic observers to improve the election environment and issued 7 "Election Update"-s. The establishment and functioning of the IATF has been positively evaluated by domestic and international observer organizations.


Members of the IATF include:

·Mr. Nika Gvaramia, Minister of Justice of Georgia

·Mr. Davit Tkeshelashvili , State Minister on the Regional Issues

·Ms. Tinatin Burjaliani, First Deputy Minister of Justice of Georgia

·Ms. Ekaterina Zguladze, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs

·Mr. Gia Vashadze, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

·Mr. Sergi Kapanadze , Deputy Head of the Department for International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

·Mr. Shota Utiashvili, Head of the Analytical Department, Ministry of Internal Affairs,

·Ms. Tinatin Goletiani, Head of Legal Department, Office of the Prosecutor General.

4.Guiding principles

The IATF is committed to pursue its goals in accordance with the following values:

·Transparency - the IATF will be open to the public

·Impartiality - the IATF acts as a neutral body

·Inclusiveness - the IATF includes every relevant state department and will cooperate with all relevant interest groups

·Efficiency - because the IATF is a flexible unit composed of high level officials, it can be both proactive and able to react quickly to developments

·Anonymity - the IATF will respect the privacy of individuals.

5.IATF stakeholders

The groups that the IATF seeks to serve include:

·Observation missions

·Diplomatic missions accredited in Georgia

·Non-governmental organizations with expertise on electoral issues

·International organizations

·Political parties

·The Public Defender

·The Parliament of Georgia

·The media.

6.IATF activities include regular meetings with stakeholders and the dissemination of relevant information via a regular, bilingual "Election Update".

7.IATF contact Information:

All information related to the IATF will be placed on the IATF web-site:

Contact person: Elene Agladze, IATF Coordinator


Phone: + 995 32 28 77 89

+ 995 99 501 858


The Parliament has amended the Constitution of Georgia and the Electoral Code to improve the legislative framework of the elections following requests from a number of political parties, international observer organizations and domestic NGOs. The content, design and number of these amendments were influenced by a number of learnings from the extraordinary presidential elections of 5 January 2008 and in particular by the experience of the courts during the adjudication process of election related complaints.

The amendments prescribe the following measures:

1.The parliamentary electoral threshold was lowered from 7% to 5%.

Georgia has fulfilled its international commitment by lowering the parliamentary electoral threshold from 7% to 5%, thus enhancing the chances of individual parties to gain seats in Parliament.

2.The date of the parliamentary elections was moved from autumn to spring. This request, originally made by the Opposition, was endorsed by the electorate through a plebiscite held on 5 January 2008. A presidential decree set the date for the Parliamentary elections for 21 May 2008.

3.Same-day voter registration and the consequent additional voters' lists were abolished, thus meeting requests from a number of international observers.

4.The equal division of the 150 Parliamentary seats between a slate of 75 elected through proportional representation and a slate of 75 elected through a first-past-the-post (majoritarian) system.

4.1.A 2003 popular referendum led to the decrease of the number of MPs from 235 to 150. This resulted in a number of constitutional amendments passed in 2005, which set the size of the next Parliament at 150 representatives, with 100 MPs elected on a proportional system and 50 on a majoritarian system. A cross-party agreement decided that these 50 majoritarian MPs would be elected on a regional basis, though there was no immediate agreement on how exactly to elect those 50 MPs (a temporary solution was arrived at in 2006).

4.2.The origin of the latest change in the number of majoritarian MPs lies in the opposition boycott of the relevant parliamentary sessions. As the presidential election showed, key amendments to the electoral system were necessary to raise the standards of elections in Georgia. These necessitated constitutional changes, which in turn need a 2/3 majority to pass in Parliament. Since opposition MPs were boycotting the session, the only way to assemble the necessary majority was to gain the support of majoritarian MPs, including those unaffiliated with the ruling UNM party. These majoritarian MPs requested the increase in their number in exchange for their support for the rest of the amendments package. The whole package was approved by 165 votes out of 235.

4.3.Georgia is administratively divided into 75 districts (rayons), facilitating the management of an equal number of majoritarian elections. In contrast, running a majoritarian election for 50 representatives would have necessitated the drafting of 50 new electoral districts.

5.The number of DEC commissioners was increased from 5 to 13, following opposition request. Six of these commissioners will be appointed by opposition parties. The composition of the DECs thus joins that of the CEC and the PECs, which already consist of 13 commissioners.

6.The powers of the DEC were increased: they now have the right to tabulate the results in their precincts and can cancel election results at given polling stations.

7.Access to CCTV polling station footage was granted to observers and stakeholders. This is governed by rules respecting the logistical challenge of providing access to day-long tapes from over 3600 polling stations: requests should specify which time segment of the footage is needed.

8.To number of signatures required to register a party for the proportional half of the election was reduced from 50,000 to 30,000, or 1% of registered voters.

9.The signature requirement for majoritarian candidates was abolished.

10.The administrative requirements for protocol reports were simplified to ensure prompt tabulation process.

11. The complaints and appeals procedures were simplified (Art 77):

11.1.The mechanism of parallel appeals to the Courts and the Commissions was abolished. Instead, all complaints are to be dealt with in first instance by the next higher electoral Commission. Thus, PEC-level complaints are to be handled by the DEC, and DEC-level complaints by the CEC. After one step up this chain, the matter if referred to the Courts. So, for example, if a PEC-level complaint cannot be solved at the level of the DEC, it moves to the courts. One exception to this rule concerns the procedures relating to the summarizing of suffrage results; these can only be appealed to the courts.

11.2.The law now allows a plaintiff to submit additional evidence of the technical shortcomings at the root of a complaint in a reasonable period of time, granted by the Commission;

11.3.The legal articles regulating the complaints procedure has been redrafted in order to eliminate technical ambiguities arising from the different codes that used to govern the complaint management procedure at the levels of the Commissions and Courts.

12.The deadlines for the adjudication of complaints and finalizing election results was harmonized;

13.The law now gives domestic NGOs the same rights to observe the elections as those enjoyed by international observers;

14.The law clarifies provisions regarding the use of administrative resources, the rights of public officials and civil servants to participate in the election campaign and the sanctions imposed in case of violations of the rules related to election campaign.

15.An additional amendment giving Parliament the right to hold a vote of confidence in the Government presented by the President is still under consideration by Parliament.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tasked with ensuring that Georgians living abroad can vote. To that end, it is implementing the following measures:

1)A public awareness campaign reminding Georgians that they must register at a consulate in order to be able to vote. Channels used to disseminate this information include consulates, embassies, media work, events and local Diaspora organizations.

2)Strengthening diplomatic efforts to open additional precincts in countries with a high number of Georgian citizens and in those whose sheer size requires additional precincts (Russian Federation, United States).

3)Extra precincts may also be opened in a number of countries including Hungary, Kazakhstan, and France.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

Send link to the email
Captcha* Verification Code
2013 (11)
2012 (12)
2011 (12)
2010 (11)
2009 (11)
2008 (12)
2007 (12)
2006 (9)
2005 (11)