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Turnout of voters reduced in Marneuli


Gulnur Kazimova

“Turnout of the voters has significantly reduced. On October 8, at least 700 citizens had already come to vote by 12:00 pm but now their number is only 200,” independent observer Rezo Aliyev at the precinct # 48 in Kizilajlo village, Marneuli municipality said. 

The villagers give different clarifications about the low activity of the voters in the second tour of the 2016 Parliamentary Elections. “6 young men were arrested in our village on October 8. A group of patrol police officers is standing in the entrance to the village. So, why should I bother myself. I will not go to the elections and vote,” Seyran Jafarova said.
Gasim Gasimov, 49, from Kizilajlo village said people shall necessarily go to the elections. “It is my right to vote. They must conduct fair elections. We shall elect who we want; they must free the detained young men.”

Member of the United National Movement Azer Suleymanov said the turnout of voters has significantly reduced in comparison to the first round and by-elections. “One of the main reasons is fear. Another factor is that people got bored with the elections. We had three elections in our precinct.”

Mazahira Aliyeva from Kvemo Sarali village, Marneuli municipality said she went to the elections according to the instructions of the school administration. “I am a teacher at public school. The government and the school administration believe it is correct to vote for 41. I gathered all teachers and took them to the polling station. They know that we must not oppose the government. Everybody must vote for the Georgian Dream’s candidate.” 

Single mandate candidate of the UNM Akmamed Imamkuliev said that the observers, who deny violations in the election process, are under the threat. “Number 41 was written on the wall of the precinct # 50 in Kizilajlo and the posters of the Georgian Dream’s single mandate candidates were pinned there. The observers, who protested this fact, were expelled from the polling stations. We sent three persons to replace them but the commission members found some reasons on everybody and dismissed them too. In general, 26 observers were dismissed from the polling stations throughout the Marneuli municipality. A minor incident occurred between agitators and observers in Giurarkhi village. The agitators suggested voters to vote for the Georgian Dream’s candidate in the polling station.”

30 international organizations observed the Parliamentary Elections in Georgia. Monitor of Human Rights Center in Marneuli Nestan Londaridze said the turnout of the voters has reduced in comparison to the first round. “We can say that number of voters coming to the polling stations has half-reduced. Some violations were also observed. For example, one person participated in the elections twice. The most important issue is that voters were not active.”

Kizilajlo village of Marneuli municipality became very popular with very noisy incidents on October 8 Parliamentary Elections. The precinct # 48 was attacked before the counting process started. Special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs arrived at the polling station; the CEC annulled the election results in that particular precinct. In the same night, 6 persons were arrested for the violence acts or threats of violence acts in the vicinities of the polling station.

On October 30, second tour was held in the Marneuli municipality. According to preliminary data, the UNM candidate Akmamed Imamkuliev gained 27,85% of votes and Georgian Dream’s candidate Tamaz Naverian gained 72,15% of votes. 

The article was prepared in the frame of the project implemented by Human Rights House Tbilisi with financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Georgia. HRHT bears sole responsibility for the content of the article. The article does not necessarily reflect the views of the donor.

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