Policy and law makers, members of the Central Election Commission, representatives of State Audit Office, political parties, international community, media and civil society discussed the 2018 Presidential Election in Georgia at the conference organised by the Council of Europe within the frame of the Project ‘Reform of the Electoral Practice in Georgia’ and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on 22 March 2019 in Tbilisi.
The conference was opened by Cristian Urse, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia and Ambassador Ross Wilson, chargé d'affaires, a.i. USA. For the panel discussion ‘2018 Presidential Election: Assessment of the Authorities of Georgian and Findings of International Observations Missions – Progress and Challenges’ keynote speakers were Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia, Tamar Zhvania, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission of Georgia, Erekle Mekvabishvili, General Auditor at the State Audit Office of Georgia, Tea Tsulukiani, Chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections, H.E. Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, and Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens from the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission.
Thematic panel discussions, consisting of representatives of state institutions, civil society and media, international observer organisations and political parties, were devoted to the topics: assessment of the progress and shortcomings of the electoral process, findings and recommendations of local and international observer organisations, a reflection on election campaign and election environment. A special emphasis was put on discussing the opportunities and challenges for the next electoral cycles (2020-2021) and the necessity to establish effective dialogue platforms aimed at improving the electoral practice in Georgia.
The Conference participants drew lessons from the organisation and management of the 2018 Presidential Election in view of compliance with European and international standards and for further improving the electoral process in Georgia. The Council of Europe and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) spoke of their ongoing electoral assistance activities.
The post-election conferences are jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) after each nationwide election in Georgia. Previous post-election conferences were organised following the 2012 parliamentary, 2013 presidential, 2014 municipal, 2016 parliamentary, and 2017 municipal elections.