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Press-Conference at Human Rights Center – Decision of the Constitutional Court Will Impact the Interim Elections

April 17, 2013

Tomorrow on April 18, at 2:30 pm Human Rights Center will hold press-conference about the decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia which annulled the discriminative provision in the Article 116 Part VII of the Election Code of Georgia which set restrictions for the majoritarian candidate nominated by the initiative group.

On April 11, the Constitutional Court upheld the constitutional suit of Human Rights Center about declaring one of arguable provisions in the Article 116 Part VII of the Election Code of Georgia non-constitutional.

This decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia will impact the scheduled interim parliamentary elections in Nadzaladevi, Bagdati and Sametredia DECs on April 27 because the non-constitutinal norm is annulled from the moment the decision of the Constitutional Court is published.

According to the arguable provisions in the Article 116 Part VII of the Election Code of Georgia, alongside the list of supporting voters independent majoritarian candidate shall provide the Central Election Commission with the bank notification that he/she has 5 000 lari deposit in it.

According to the Article 116 Part VII of the Organic Law of Georgia Georgian Election Code”, “the money allocated on the mentioned deposit will be completely returned to the candidate if she/he gains at least 10% of votes in the relevant elections. Otherwise, the money will be transferred to the state budget of Georgia.” Part XII of the same article states: “the chairperson of the district election commission will not register the candidate for the parliamentary elections of Georgia if: …the requirements and terms of Part VII are breached.So, if a candidate of relevant election subject does not provide the bank notification on 5 000 GEL deposit, he will not be registered.

The law envisaged this particular provision for only one election subject – majoritarian candidate named by the initiative group of voters. The same requirement was not envisaged for other majoritarian candidates or election subjects like political party or an election block.

Human Rights Center represented Besik Adamia at the Constitutional Court, who was a majoritarian candidate during the parliamentary election and law required him to pay 5000 GEL.  Human Rights Center believes that establishment of similar obligations for equal election subjects participating in the election, contradicts the Article 14 of the Constitution of Georgia which guarantees just equality principle before the law.

Human Rights Center has lodged another constitutional suit to the Constitutional Court where Center claims that formation of majoritarian election districts contradicts the Constitution of Georgia. Suitors – Ucha Nanuashvili and Mikheil Sharashidze believe this particular article of the Election Code of Georgia does not comply with the Article 14 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination on different grounds.

The constitutional suits were prepared in the framework of the Project about the Monitoring of Election Process that is implemented with financial support of the US Embassy in Georgia and Netional Endowment For Democracy (NED). Norwegian Helsinki Committee also assists the Human Rights Center in the monitoring process.

Human Rights Center