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Election violations and results in Gori municipality

31.10.2017

Photo:Elected mayor Konstantine Tavzarashvili
 

Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli



Nine mayoral candidates contested in the local self-government elections in Gori. The mayoral candidate of the ruling party Konstantine Tavzarashvili won the elections in the first round. 54,9% of voters – 22 947 persons, who arrived at the polling stations, voted for him. UNM mayoral candidate Revaz Kakhniashvili ranked the second place with 15,19 % - 6 679 votes. Acting governor and the candidate of the Movement for Construction Davit Oniashvili received 4 908 votes, that made up 11, 71% of the voters. 

Davit Makhniashvili, mayoral candidate of the European Georgia, received 3 991 votes, that is 9,52%; Makhniashvili blames the ruling party in bribing the voters. Part of the mayoral candidates complain about fraud elections, including the candidate of the Democratic Movement – Ioseb Sosiashvili, who gained 3, 57% of votes (1 495 votes). Sosiashvili said balance of the results was breached in the final protocols of several precincts. 

Ilia Metreveli, number 1 on the proportional list of the election bloc Public – People’s Unity, speaks about the misbalance in the protocols.  The election bloc could not overcome the barrier according to the preliminary data of the CEC. Their mayoral candidate Nana Khizanishvili gained 0,81% of votes (340 votes). 

“In the precinct, where we definitely knew that had supporters, we received 0 votes. My family members were registered in that particular polling station. When I protested it, it turned up that our party had gained 9 votes. It is the figure where we could check our results but worse violations might have happened in the precincts where we could not predict our results,” Ilia Metreveli said.

The winner mayoral candidate Konstantine Tavzarashvili said the elections were democratic and no significant violations were observed. 

Konstantine Tavzarashvili: “When I was meeting the population, I expected that I would win the elections in the first round and it really happened.”

According to the preliminary data of the CEC, Georgian Dream will have 8 members in the Gori municipal council; the opposition political parties will have 7 members: UNM will have 3 deputies, European Georgia will have 2 deputies, Movement for Construction and Alliance of Patriots will have one candidate each. As for the majoritarian candidates, the candidates of the ruling party won majoritarian elections in 24 out of 25 districts; independent candidate won the majoritarian polls in one district. All in all, the Gori municipal council will have 40 deputies, 32 of them will be representatives of the GD.

Human Rights Center’s lawyer Aleksi Merebashvili said the coordinators of the political parties mobilized in the vicinities of the polling stations particularly affected the demonstration of free will by voters. 

“The coordinators of the election subjects were mobilized nearby the polling stations that significantly hinder the demonstration of free will of voters in the elections. People observed the elections on behalf of non-governmental organizations or opposition political parties but in fact served the interests of the ruling party that became particularly evident during the counting of the votes,” Merebashvili said.

28 complaints were lodged to the Gori DEC # 32; the Commission considered 26 of them. The DEC chairperson said one complaint was filed by unauthorized person and the second one was directly filed to the PEC about procedural violations. Majority of the complaints were filed by the observers of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and ISFED. Big part of the complaints referred to the violations of election procedures. DEC Chairperson Malkhaz Miruashvili said the Commission satisfied big part of the complaints. 

In some polling stations there was misbalance in the final protocols; among them was the precinct # 42 in Sakasheti village, where 106 more votes were recorded in the final protocol than the spent ballot papers. GYLA requested to re-count the precinct but the DEC did not satisfy the claim and presented the clarification letters of the PEC # 42 members. 

The PEC members wrote that Gori mayoral candidate Konstantine Tavazarashvili received 119 votes instead 190 votes; another candidate Nana Khizanishvili received 2 votes instead recorded 26 votes. The number of the annulled ballot papers was incorrect either. 

After the rejection from the DEC, GYLA appealed the Gori district court to annul the results in the Sakasheti village precinct; however neither the judge satisfied the appeal stating that re-counting of the votes could not affect the election results. Consequently, GYLA appealed the decision at the Appeal Court but the latter too upheld the decision of the first instance court. 



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