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ISFED assess structural changes in CEC as ‘rushed’

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, May 17
The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, ISFED, has published a statement regarding the ongoing structural changes in the Central Election Commission. According to ISFED, the changes in CEC are rushed.

The statement published by ISFED claims that the process of structural reorganization in the CEC in 2021 is not properly substantiated and shows the feeling that the reorganization is rushed.

ISFED discusses the reorganization process chronologically and claims that on March 4, the process started on the basis of the chairman’s order and the goal is to increase the flexibility and efficiency of the CEC.

As ISFED claims, although the ongoing reorganization at the CEC is not aimed at limiting the staff numbers, the process is still noteworthy as it provided for the creation of new structural units on the one hand, and redistribution of human resources on the other hand.

According to the changes made on March 4, there should have been 11 departments in CEC, and in two months, because of reorganization, other changes were adopted, which reduced the number of departments from 11 to 8.

The ISFED also noted that the remuneration and budget of the CEC leaders, members, and staff members list, changed twice in the same period.

Meanwhile, on May 14, with the amendments to the regulations, new positions were added to the list of CEC staff positions, which will guide the relevant direction of the election process - Data Management Manager, Voters List Formation Manager, and Election Registration Manager. An information processing specialist has also been added to the list of positions. However, their specific functions are not yet clear.

ISFED said that they were interested in the ongoing reorganization of the CEC office from the very beginning and requested information from the agency to investigate the need and legal grounds, as well as the issue of personnel changes.

However, according to ISFED, the response received from the election administration did not contain complete information on the issues raised and was limited to general wording.

Fair Elections refers to the Civil Service Law and says that reorganization is a systematic process in the interests of a particular institution to ensure systemic governance that partially or substantially alters the institutional arrangement of the institution.