On December 12-13, 2022, the Central Election Commission of Georgia (CEC) and LEPL the Centre for Electoral Systems Development, Reforms and Training (Training Centre), in cooperation with the Office of the Council of Europe in Georgia, conducted an informational-educational course on the topic "International Standards and Reporting on the Observation of the Election Process".
At the opening of the event, Marcus Adelsbach, Head at the Elections and Participatory Democracy Division of the Council of Europe, Giorgi Kalandarishvili, Chairman of the CEC and Natia Zaalishvili, Director of the Training Center addressed the participants. The speakers talked about the importance of the role of observation organizations in the process of conducting democratic elections, on the need to integrate high-quality international standards of observation within domestic observation missions and to develop reporting tools. The mentioned issues were named as a challenge in the report of the international election observation mission prepared by the OSCE/ODIHR on the Municipal Elections held in Georgia in 2021.
In accordance with international recommendations, within the framework of the profile program prepared with the focus on strengthening electoral opportunities, trainers of the Training Centre and an expert from the Council of Europe Office discussed the following important issues with the participants: international standards of election observation; monitoring priorities in terms of the election cycle; observational methodology, guidelines and ethics; reporting tools and international monitoring reporting practices. In the context of the current election reform, the participants additionally got acquainted with the experience of using election technologies by the election administration of Georgia, the Training Centre also reviewed the international standards and methodology for monitoring electronic technologies in election processes. For more visibility, the participants were directly involved in the simulation of voting using election technologies (voter verification and electronic vote counting machines).
16 domestic non-governmental organizations participated in the training, who were registered as observers in the CEC for the Municipal Elections on October 2, 2021 and signed the Code of Ethics signed in 2021 between the Election Administration and domestic observer organizations: International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy; Georgian Young Lawyers Association; Center for Development and Democracy; Public Movement Multinational Georgia; Human Rights Center; International Center For Democratic Initiatives; International Centre for Civic Culture; New Generation – for Democratic Georgia; Professional Union of Workers and Students of Vocational Education and Training for Qualified Personnel of Georgia; New Generation - Democratic Elections; Union Green Earth; Former Political Prisoners - for Human Rights; International Observatory of Advocates and Lawyers; Human Rights Defenders for Justice; Academy “A”; American Supporters League.
The above-mentioned informational-educational program was implemented within the framework of the Council of Europe project “Supporting Transparency, Inclusiveness and Integrity of Electoral Practice and Process in Georgia”.