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Work of Chamber of Control of Georgia Was Unconstitutional for Five Months – Human Rights Center Publishes Intermediate Report

September 4, 2012

Elene Chumburidze

On September 4th Human Rights Center published intermediate report of monitoring of pre-election period which talks about concrete violations observed during election process. At the press-conference held in Human Rights Center, among other violations, special emphasis is paid to the activity of State Audit Service the work of which was unconstitutional for five months.

Report of Human Rights Center reflects the situation till August 1st. One of the goals of the research is to assess the compliance of Georgian legislation to international standards. The research found that there are many inaccuracies and instances when Georgian legislation does not comply with international standards. The constitutional work of State Audit Service needs to be clarified. The title and functions of the Audit Service was changed on May 22nd of 2012. Earlier it was called Chamber of Control and its function was determined by article 97 of Constitution. According to this article, the Chamber of Control has competence to supervise “usage and spending of state expenses and other material state resources.” According to the amendment made on May 22nd of 2012, the name of Chamber of Control changed to State Audit Service and was commissioned to supervise “usage and spending of public expenses and other material resources,” which also means non-state expenses of political parties. However, Chamber of Control implemented this work till May 22nd of 2011.

Thus, it can be said that since December 27th of 2011 till May 22nd of 2012 work of Chamber of Control exceeded the authority granted to it by the Constitution. Human Rights Center will request revision of decisions of former Chamber of Control and raise responsibility of relevant individuals.

The press conference noted about other shortcomings of electoral legislation and statistics of violations observed during pre-election period. Specifically, Human Rights Center reflected 38 cases of political pressure and threats, 10 cases of hindrance of journalistic activity, 7 cases of pressure against the businessmen, numerous cases of interrogation of members of political unions, donators, activists of political parties and the cases of imposing fines against them.

According to co-author of the report, Mikheil Sharashidze, the final part of the report analyzes legislation and concrete facts. The final part also recommends what can be improved to conduct fair elections. However, according to Mikheil Sharashidze, it is already late to improve certain things as too many illegal acts already occurred for last months.

According to the executive director of Human Rights Center, Ucha Nanuashvili, this report will be sent to international organizations and diplomatic community, also to other interested parties, including political parties, intergovernmental commission, NGOs and media.

Human Rights Center plans to present two more reports for nearest week which will regard the pre-election environment for months of August and September.