Georgia’s 2024 Parliamentary Election: Pre-Election Risk Assessment

May 31, 2024
Georgians will head to the polls on October 26 to elect all 150 members of parliament. This pre-election risk assessment identifies and analyzes risks to the conduct and integrity of these elections to raise awareness and prepare relevant stakeholders domestically and internationally. The assessment covers general risks and vulnerabilities in the political landscape, legal framework and election administration, campaign environment, and media and information space. It is offered in the spirit of partnership, with the aim of serving as a baseline ahead of the official campaign season to inform further risk-tracking and provide focus and direction for mitigation strategies.

Given the widespread protests in Georgia over the passage in May of a “foreign agents” law by the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) government, and the subsequent violent attacks on and arrests of civic actors, journalists, and politicians, it is difficult to anticipate how events will unfold over the next few months. The most significant risk is, therefore, a volatile and evolving crisis that has pitted the government against its people. While the elections are likely to go forward, the role of observers and media will be constrained, if not eliminated. Political violence and arrests are anticipated, and the legitimacy of the elections could be challenged. These risks supersede, but build upon, other shortcomings identified in the election framework and administration, the media and information space, and the political playing field. 

Despite these risks, the election results are not a foregone conclusion. Georgian voters have faced significant obstacles to free and fair elections posed by ruling parties in the past but overcame them due to the public’s widespread determination to exercise its free will.