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Has Gori District Election Commission Violated the Law?!

18.07.2017

 
Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

Chairman of the nongovernmental organization Gori Information Center Mikheil Chitadze continues fight against the unification of the local self-governments and together with the Gori City Council member Tamar Tedliashvili applied to the Gori DEC # 32 to get registered as a candidates for Gori City Mayor and municipal governor on behalf of the initiative group. The initiative group wished to register Chitadze as a candidate for the position of the Gori City Mayor and Tedliashvili for the position of the municipality governor.

Application stated that according to the acting law, the city and municipality administrations were still separated. 

“The previous edition of the law is still in force and the new one has not been adopted yet. It is not normal when the election process has commenced but we do not know clear requirements of the law. With our application we demonstrated our position that we are against unification of local self-governments’ the initiative groups register their candidatures for the mayor’s position and the municipality governor’s position,” Chitadze said. 

Gori DEC # 32 refused the initiative groups to register the candidates claiming that the Election Day was not yet scheduled. The initiative group appealed the Gori DEC decision at the Central Election Commission. Tamar Tedliashvili said the DEC places the political parties and initiative groups in unequal conditions. 

Tamar Tedliashvili, independent member of the Gori City Council: “Based on the June 1, 2017 decree of the CEC chairwoman, the political union European Democrats and their candidates were already registered. Considering that, the election procedures have commenced and decisions are made. The refusal of the DEC to register the independent candidates directly or indirectly harms us, and unlike the political parties our rights to fair elections are violated.”

Human Rights Center’s Shida Kartli office lawyer Aleksi Merebashvili said in accordance to the Election Code of Georgia, registration of the initiative groups and their candidates does not depend on setting the Election Day.

“The law states that for nomination of a candidate, an initiative group of voters shall file an application to the respective DEC no later than the 57th day before polling under which it is entitled to start collecting signatures of supporting voters. The same rule refers to the nomination of candidates for district governors and city mayors,” HRC lawyer said. 

Mikheil Chitadze and Tamar Tedliashvili are waiting for the decision of the CECN; if the latter upholds the decision of the Gori DEC, they will appeal the court. 

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