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Pre-election campaigning starts in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 9
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, has signed the election decrees issued by the President on June 3. According to the decree, the parliamentary elections - as well as the elections of the Adjaran Autonomous Republic’s Supreme Council - will be held on October 8, 2016.

According to Georgian legislation, the decrees should be published in the Legislative Herald after countersignature.

The pre-election campaign will start as soon as the legal act about the election date is published.

According to the election law, all political parties and candidates will enjoy equal rights and have equal obligations.

Since the start of the election campaign, the restrictions come into force regarding state agencies and officials. The restrictions prohibit the use of administrative resources, budget funds, or the use of official positions during the pre-election period.

Moreover, it is forbidden to use communications, information services and other kinds of equipment of the state authorities or local self-government bodies or the organizations which are financed from the stated budget.

The Election Code also prohibits using vehicles owned by state or local authorities.

Since the start of the pre-election campaign, the regulations will cover the media as well. According to the Broadcasting law and Election Code, broadcasters should observe the principles of impartiality and fairness. No later than the 50th day of the electoral period, the broadcasters must allocate free advertising time for all election subjects.

However, free advertising time will be given to political parties which are funded from the state budget.

The corresponding order was sent to Central Election Commission (CEC) and pre-election regulations are activated including those concerning public officials and state structures.

The Georgian National Communications Commission (NCC) will observe the work of national and regional broadcasters.

According to the PM, the standards of the pre-election period in Georgia have significantly improved and this is a result of the coopertion with President Margvelashvili.

“The use of administrative resources during the election campaign is limited, and this is a step forward in terms of democracy,” Kvirikashvili noted.