Statement on OSI and OSGF’s Activities related to May 2008 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia
Given the significant role that civil society plays in democratic elections, The Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) will support the local NGOs for the upcoming parliamentary elections, set for May 21, 2008.
This support will enable local NGOs, working in a non-partisan way, to promote transparency, accountability, anti-discrimination and democratic inclusion in Georgia’s elections. The groups will, among other things, evaluate the pre-election processes, observe polling stations on Election Day itself, and obtain, analyze and disseminate unbiased and accurate information regarding the conduct of the vote and the election results.
To this end, OSI and OSGF have provided support to four organizations totaling USD $91,241:
·”New Generation – New Initiative” has received co-funding in the amount of $19,925 to fund the activities of 400 election monitors on Election Day.
· The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) has received co-funding in the amount of $25,852 to monitor elections and to conduct parallel vote tabulation at 700 precincts.
·The Georgia Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) has received $31,914 to proto provided for filing claims of electoral fraud on Election Day and filing complaints before the courts and election commissions. As a whole, with the funding of OSGF and the European Commission, the organization will monitor 450 precincts, 36 district and the Central Elections Committee;
· The International Center of Civil Culture (ICCC) has received $13,550 to conduct voter-rights education and train 50 local observers in the Kvemo-Kartli district, which is inhabited chiefly by ethnic minorities.
In order to promote timely and unbiased coverage of the elections, OSGF has established a Media Center in partnership with Transparency International – Georgia. The Media Center will disseminate the results of the monitoring carried out by the organizations listed above. The Media Center will also provide a hotline which voters can call to get answers to questions relating to election laws and procedures, and also to report any problems or violations they have encountered.