IFES Convenes Fifth Civil Society Roundtable on Electoral Reform

February 1, 2013 - IFES

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Leaders of civil society organizations in Georgia and election commissioners gather around Central Election Commission chairman Zurab Kharatishvili (center) during a round table discussion hosted by IFES.

As Georgia continues to reform its electoral system, IFES has been hosting roundtable discussions with civil society organizations (CSOs) and other interested stakeholders. This exchange of ideas will produce feedback on current electoral law, which will be shared with Georgian lawmakers as they begin the process of crafting reforms.

The fifth in this series of meetings took place on January 25, 2013. This latest gathering focused on legislative issues surrounding election administration and Election Day procedures. Organizations represented at the roundtable include the International Centre for Civic Culture; Georgian Young Lawyers Association; International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy; Civil Society and Democracy Development Centre; Healthy World; Transparency International – Georgia; and Public Movement – Multinational Georgia. Additionally, the Central Election Commission and other international actors participated.

Participants discussed the size, term of office and composition of the election management body and legislative remedies that could solve the procedural inefficiencies from the 2012 parliamentary elections.

The roundtable forum, known as the "Civil Society-Electoral Platform," was established on December 7, 2012. It is comprised of representatives from Georgian civil society, election administration and international organizations.

In the coming weeks, the group plans to engage with the parliamentary inter-faction commission and share feedback from their discussions.

Since 1995, IFES has conducted a range of assistance activities to support the development of democratic elections and political processes in Georgia. Currently, IFES is engaged in a multi-year program called Increased Trust in the Electoral Process, and is preparing for presidential and local elections in 2013 and 2014, respectively.