The chairman of the political group “European Socialists” of the Parliament of Georgia, Fridon Injia, presented his own initiative at the session of the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee regarding the amendments to the Election Code, according to which persons without an electronic identification card will be able to use the right granted by the country’s constitution to participate in the elections and to state their political position.
“This initiative could bring out the “Georgian dream” as well.” Moreover, this is one of the demands of OSCE/ODIR. The presented amendment refers to those citizens of Georgia who still have a non-electronic identity card (personality that does not have a so-called chip – electronic carrier) certificate, who, according to the current election code, do not have the right to exercise the right to vote and participate in elections.
On March 3, 2022, Georgia submitted an application to join the European Union, and therefore, the European Union gave Georgia a task regarding the implementation of the 12-point recommendation, one of the important points of which was the changes to the Election Code.
It is worth noting that according to the Election Code in force today, only those persons who have electronic ID cards (identity card with an electronic information carrier) will have the right to participate in the elections of the Parliament of Georgia in October 2024, respectively, a citizen of Georgia who has a valid non-electronic ID card (identity card) a certificate that does not have an electronic carrier of information) will not be able to enjoy the right provided by the constitution (the right to vote) and will not have the opportunity to participate in the elections held in 2024 and thereafter.
This, in turn, implies that tens of thousands of people with Georgian citizenship will be restricted in their constitutional right to participate in the elections and to state their position,” Fridon Injia said.
According to the deputy, elections are a kind of institutional mechanism that democracy brings into action. In order to form a “government of the people”, the people must participate in politics, and the best way to do this is through elections.
“Free, universal and equal elections are the pillars of the democratic system. In order to achieve the mentioned goal, the legislator is obliged to create appropriate guarantees so that citizens have equal access to the elections and equal opportunity to influence its final results”, said the deputy.
According to the chairman of the political group, the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR report in December 2022 indicates that although electronic ID cards were issued in Georgia in 2011, some citizens still use valid non-electronic ID cards. Therefore, the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR emphasize the importance of the participation in elections of those who possess valid non-electronic identification cards.
Accordingly, the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR call on Georgia to take effective steps to implement relevant legislative changes in order to ensure the voting rights of these persons provided for in the Constitution.
“It is especially important to emphasize that many citizens have approached us regarding this issue and expressed a well-founded and reasoned opinion to implement such changes that will preserve their right to participate in the elections, pay off their citizenship debt and express their political position.
Also, it is worth noting that the Constitutional Court of Georgia in its decision of June 4, 2020 (No. 1/1/1404) indicated that the state is not exempted from the obligation to protect the interests of those who do not want to use electronic ID cards, due to their sincere religious objection. MP.
In addition, according to Fridon Injia, there are various international pacts to which Georgia has joined, which recognize and protect the right of every citizen to participate in the management of public affairs, in the process of voting and making choices.
“Therefore, we propose a specific amendment to the organic law of Georgia “Election Code of Georgia”, according to which amendments are made to Article 63, Clause 19 of the Code, Article 65, Clause 2, subparagraphs “a” and “b”, as well as Article 766 In subsection “g” of the first paragraph, it is determined that voting in elections and carrying out other appropriate procedures will also be possible with a valid non-electronic identity card of a citizen of Georgia (an identity card that does not have an electronic information carrier). – noted Fridon Injia.
According to the chairman of the political group, there are no specific statistics on this issue, but if even one person, even one voter, is without an electronic ID card, there should be a law that
At least, this one person will be given the means to use the right to vote granted by the constitution and participate in the elections.
At the meeting of the committee, the deputies supported the initiative presented by Fridon Injia on the changes in the election code in the first reading.