Georgian parties agree on VoteMatch
At the request of the main political parties NIMD will develop a public VoteMatch for the coming parliamentary elections.
Since the November 2007 protests and the turbulent presidential election process early January, Georgian political parties’ trust in Georgian democracy has diminished, especially from the side of the opposition parties. The political landscape has not been so polarised since the Rose Revolution in 2003.
Nevertheless, on 24 January the six main political parties, including the government party and the main opposition parties, agreed to cooperate with NIMD and IPP (Dutch Institute for Political Participation) to establish an online VoteMatch for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
NIMD Regional Director for Eurasia Pepijn Gerrits explains the need for such a tool: "During the last elections only one party had a political programme – containing 600 pages! With the VoteMatch people can learn more about all parties’ positions on important themes in an easy way. Besides greater transparency the Internet tool hopes to involve younger voters in politics."
The Georgian VoteMatch is based on a Dutch concept, Stemwijzer, a tool that helps voters define which parties best suit their interests and whose plans and positions match their views on a variety of issues. The VoteMatch will be online one month before the elections, which will probably be held in May.
NIMD and OSCE-ODIHR (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) are involved in the support of multiparty democracy in Georgia since 2004. IPP has been involved since 2007 assisting the political parties to strengthen their programmatic capacities.