14 Jul. '12 | Interagency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections Holds Extended Meeting With Political Parties
On July 14, IATF members met with political party representatives. They discussed how best to ensure a dignified election campaign, avoiding violence and vote-buying, and addressed institutional issues related to the IATF.
Participants agreed on a system to provide advance warning on planned campaign rallies so that the IATF, at the central government level, and local authorities, on the local level, can work to prevent possible incidents. Based on their experience of employing providing advance warning at several campaign events and at the Georgian Dream coalition’s rally in Mtskheta, participants said such a system can be effective and should be employed in future when political parties themselves deem it necessary.
Participants also agreed to appoint a contact point in the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Georgian Dream’s planned rally in Gori. This official will communicate with representatives of Georgian Dream and relevant NGOs.
The question of a code of conduct during the electoral campaign for political parties also was discussed, as it was during the IATF’s meeting with NGOs. National Movement’s representative underscored the importance of reaching agreement on issues relating to violence, vote-buying, and the use of administrative resource.
Among other issues discussed was an initiative proposed by New Rights; the IATF’s institutional organization; the broadening of the the composition of the IATF to include representatives of the Ministries of Education and Healthcare; and the IATF’s functions.
The political parties represented at the meeting were National Movement, Georgian Dream, Christian Democrats, New Rights, National Democrats, Georgian Group, Europian Democrats, and the Christian Democratic People’s Party. Representatives of IRI, NDI, and IFES also participated as observers.
The IATF will hold additional meetings with political parties in future as well.