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The choice of ethnic minorities – interesting tendencies

07.11.2016

 
Giorgi Janelidze

On October 30, the 2016 Parliamentary Elections were over with the second round of the majoritarian elections in 50 districts. According to the official information, the Georgian Dream won in 48 districts. The precincts of Marneuli Municipality were the noisiest in both rounds of the elections. HRIDC observers reported that the confrontation took place in the precinct #50 in Kizilajlo village. 

The archive of humanrights.ge stores video-audio footage, which reflects the attitude of the representatives of ethnic minority groups towards elections in Iormughanlo village and its surroundings, where ethnic Azerbaijani people live. In the videos PEC members and agitators shouted “besh, besh!” to voters, which means 5 in Azerbaijani language. At that time, the UNM was the ruling party with its unchangeable election number – 5. 

The situation changed in the same precincts during the 2012 Parliamentary, 2013 Presidential and 2014 Self-Government Elections, when the representatives of ethnic minorities mostly voted for the opposition parties. A miracle happened in the first round of the 2016 Parliamentary Elections when Akmamed Imamkuliev from the UNM defeated Tamaz Naveriani from the GD in Marneuli Municipality. All in all, the results of both rounds were following: Tamaz Naveriani from the GD took 72.15% and Akmamed Imamkuliev from the UNM 27.85%, but it is obvious that in comparison to previous parliamentary elections the candidates of the opposition parties gained more votes in the villages inhabited with ethnic minorities. Another significant data is– the UNM (47.41%) defeated the GD (41.27) in the proportional elections. While in 2012, the UNM received 79.1% and the GD 16.35%. In 2008, the UNM took 82.55% against 6.31% collected by the united opposition. 

Humanrights.ge contacted Giorgi Zesashvili, former chairman of the CEC. He said it is not correct to emphasize ethnic indicators and added: “each region has its peculiarities and differences, including ethnic, religious and other affiliations. However, it is very important issue, which shall be researched on scientific level. The in-depth study and analyze of the case shall be conducted”. 

According to the 2014 census, 6.3% of the population of Georgia is Azerbaijani. According to the CEC information, 344 precincts were created for the 2016 Parliamentary Elections in ethnic minorities’ settlements, among them 207 are Georgian-Azerbaijani villages. 

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