17 June 2024,   05:10
CEC calls upon electoral stakeholders not to mislead voters living abroad and promote their participation pursuant legislation

In recent times, several pieces of disinformation were disseminated regarding the opening of electoral precincts abroad, that could confuse and mislead our citizens residing abroad. Among others, the pertinent statement released by us was incorrectly interpreted. As a result, today we would like to refer to this issue once again, state the position of the Election Administration as well as clarify the existing procedures of the legislation.

At first, we would like to emphasize that the opinion about the Election Administration refuses to open the electoral precincts abroad and places the responsibility on another institution, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a lie, spread by several politicians and media representatives during the recent days. We will apply each mechanism available to us in order to ensure the participation of voters living abroad in the elections in accordance with the provided procedured by the legislation.

However, it is necessary for them to observe procedures stipulated by the law. For the Election Administration, timely providing voters with information is one of the key priorities. It ensures that each voter abroad or in Georgia receives precise information, that is essential for them to participate in elections. The issue is dealt with in the Action Plan of the Central Election Commission of Georgia (CEC) and envisages the extensive information campaign both in Georgia and abroad,

Therefore, the Election Administration will not permit the attempts aiming at making voters mistaken and will ensure that they are informed about the rules, timeframes or procedures which the legislation set forth.

We would like to remind the voters living abroad that the Election Code provides the following: Electoral precincts abroad shall be set up by the CEC based on data provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, not later than the 30th day before the Election Day, for not less than 50 and not more than 3 000 voters. For taking part in elections, it is necessary for them to register 19 days before the Election Day in the precinct election commission set up in the foreign country, the diplomatic representation abroad or consular institution of Georgia.

While discussing the present issue, noteworthy is the novelty which prolongs the registration time frames for the voters living abroad to participate in elections. Pursuant to the amendments made to the Election Code, the time frame of registration to participate in elections for those voters were expanded by 2 days. Despite their awareness of the procedures provided by the legislation, some politically interested persons try to mislead the voters living abroad according to their interests. This harms the electoral process and promotes the creation of entirely unreasonable perceptions related to voting procedures and timeframes in the foreign countries.

We would like to specifically address the voters living abroad and remind them that for the reliable information, they should contact the Election Administration and benefit from the checked sources of information.

Furthermore, we would like to call upon each stakeholder to consider and observe the election procedures, not to misguide voters for their political interests and make no harm to the election environment. The elections are a common cause and everyone has the responsibility on his/her part in conducting this process according to the international standards.