In the wake of yesterday's parliamentary elections, Georgia's largest election monitoring NGO, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), issued its own parallel vote tabulation (PVT), a count of the proportion, list vote performed in tandem with the official count by ISFED staff.
In Georgia's young democracy, where exit polls can be wildly inaccurate, and results, as happened last night, contested by the various parties, PVT is means by which ISFED, a well respected body locally, might bolster public trust in the electoral process. After a campaign that occasionally strayed into political violence, and an election-night fraught with allegations from opposition parties of vote-rigging, ISFED's work is very obviously important.
With the PVT results released, its findings very closely correlate to the official vote tally. Both have Georgian Dream in first place, with 49.1 and 49.75% respectively. Both then place the UNM in second, with 26.8 and 26.72%. The PVT likewise accords with official results which, with 66% of precincts reporting, place the Alliance of Patriots as falling just short of the threshold for proportional parliamentary representation, at 4.9%.
Though corroboration of the official results as listed by the Central Elections Commission is welcome, ISFED acknowledged that this election day had been an acrimonious one, with 'significant violations, including violent ones, at several polling stations'. Nevertheless, the incidents, which included outbreaks of violence at polling stations in Zugdidi and Khakheti, were, said ISFED, 'isolated', which no impact on the broader election results.
Astronaut Yuri Gagarin, singer-songwriter and actor Vladimir Vysotsky and Soviet Marshall Georgy Zhukov top the poll
The meeting in Krakow between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan did not lead to a breakthrough, and none was expected. But there appears to be a change of gear in the negotiations, says Dennis Sammut in this week's Monday Commentary