Before the latest amendments were adopted presidential candidates were allowed to withdraw their candidatures at any time before elections. This position was regarded as “definitely not acceptable” by the Venice Commission, since this could cause manipulation, confusion, speculation and suspicion (CDL-AD (2002) 9, item 68). In the meantime, the article has been amended slightly. According to the Election Code, as amended in August 2003, a candidate for the Presidency of Georgia can withdraw his/her candidature up until 12:00 of the day before the election (Art. 84.4). However, this still seems to be very late. In the case of parliamentary candidates, the nomination can be cancelled not later than two days before election day (Art. 100). The inconsistency of the deadlines, although rather small, has no justification. In any case, it might be appropriate to set up an earlier deadline and to define criteria for the withdrawing of candidates.
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