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Opposition Parties Claim National Movement Promise Voters to Release Their Prisoner in Exchange of 500 Votes

21.04.2010
Bargain about prisoners is the urgent topic in Guria region at the approaching municipality elections. Opposition parties claim the family members are promised their prisoner will be free in exchange of 500 votes.

Head of the Ozurgeti district office of the Movement for the Just Georgia Lela Natsvaladze said the government has various methods of falsification. As soon as preparation activities started, the topic of prisoners was raised again. Young member of the family of T.S in the small town of Laituri is convicted to 7 years in prison for drug-dealing. The government promises his relatives to release him from prison if they collect 500 votes for them. Resident of the village of Melekeduri Kh. L. has to collect more than 500 votes for the ruling party for the freedom of his relative. Kh. L. is asking people in the villages and collects their ID numbers. Situation is same in other villages.
 
Chairperson of the Ozurgeti district office of the National Movement Avtandil Mekvabishvili neither denies nor confirms the fact. 

“I do not know which opposition party thought of this story. Nobody speaks about drug-dealers. If a convicted is selected by the corresponding commission, the president has right to pardon him/her. Those people will be pardoned who deserve it. We do not need the votes of the drug-dealers,” said Mekvabishvili.

Natsvaladze said the problem of prisoners was first introduced during the last parliamentary elections and the former regional governor successfully implemented this initiative. After the elections they started to apologize to the deceived family members of the convicted.

Ozurgeti district Coordinator of the Republic Party Marine Sungulia said several members of her party were neutralized because their neighbor, convicted for drug-dealing, is released from prison. “When the society acts like that, opposition cannot complain about anything. Today, unfortunately, I cannot see the position of Georgian mother. Maybe, her son was arbitrarily arrested or graver sentence was imposed on him, but they should try to assist the fair authority to come into government; to find out the truth and to see their sons honestly released from prison. Otherwise, they cannot be sure that their sons are not sent back to prison again.”

Shorena Ghlonti, Guria

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