Tamar Zhvania, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) met with Nino Lomjaria, Public Defender.
The safety issues concerning the 31 October 2020 elections amid pandemic were discussed at the meeting. The Public Defender expressed interest in the ongoing electoral processes and existing challenges in light of pandemic as well as safety regulations adopted for the E-day.
Tamar Zhvania detailed epidemiological protocol adopted for polling day for holding safe elections amid pandemic and noted that the relevant decree was developed by the CEC in consultation with involved parties. The draft decree is prepared in collaboration with involved parties based on which the Election Administration offers to voters placed in medical institutions and isolation (quarantine, self-isolation) to participate in elections through the services of special groups with the functions of an election commission.
“We offer to all the categories of voters who are COVID-19 positive and who are quarantined or self-isolated, the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right. At the same time, we discussed at the meeting the safety measures that are needed due to the epidemiological situation in the country. The CEC planned safety measures are positively evaluated and certainly, we will collaborate with all entities to ensure to hold safe elections and safeguard the health as well as rights of citizens to the extent possible”, - said Tamar Zhvania at the end of the meeting.
“As I see, everything is ready in terms of technical aspects and regulations. I hope that on E-day everyone, commission members, observers, and voters will follow safety measures. If we all follow the rules that apply, the risk of spreading the infection on polling day will be less. It’s important that the procedures will be written at the legislative level as well, enabling all individuals whether they are COVID-19 positive, placed in medical institutions, or in self-isolation, to take part in elections. Despite the pandemic, I think all citizens will be able to cast their votes in elections which is very important. There was a danger that it would be impossible, but after today"s meeting I have the feeling that the CEC is doing everything possible to ensure that no citizen loses his/her vote in the elections”, - added Nino Lomjaria.