As a result of the steps taken by the Georgian Dream, the process of electing the CEC chairman and members has been completely discredited, said Giorgi Sioridze, a CEC Deputy Chairman and member of Lelo.
According to him, the process that is currently underway is a step backwards.
"Unfortunately, we have seen that the process of electing the CEC chairman and members on the basis of the 2021 electoral reform took place in the worst case scenario last year: no attempt by the Georgian Dream to reach a consensus with the opposition parties, completely ignoring the spirit of the April 19 agreement, one-party support for the candidates preferred by the ruling party and appointing them to office with the lowest legitimacy for a period of 6 months. All other novelties, such as staffing of the competition commission in a new way, the live broadcast of the interview process and the intervals between the voting procedures, turned out to be of a façade nature.
As for the current process, it is a step backwards even compared to last year’s competition, as Parliament recently backed changes to the election legislation that eliminated four-week intervals between candidate voting procedures. Thus the ruling power no longer left room for political consultation. This step was another declaration by the Georgian Dream that advancing their preferred candidates shouldn't be hindered even by formal barriers.
At the same time, unlike last year, NGOs with a high reputation such as ISFED, Georgian Young Lawyers' Association, Transparency International and IDFI boycotted the competition commission for candidates for CEC chairmanship and membership. Therefore, the current selection process is practically discredited by the third sector, as the hope that existed last year that real change is possible is no longer there, "- said Sioridze.