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Organization aims to repair mistrust over voter's list

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, June 20
The League of Voters kicked-off an alternative door-to-door campaign on Tuesday, June 19. As the League’s chairman Koka Guntsadze explained, the first stage of the campaign will cover 10 election precincts in Tbilisi and one in Zugdidi. He said that in just two cities, the number of voters would exceed 1 million, which is approximately 40% of Georgia's entire population.

“We mistrust the state commission, we mistrust the government, and we can see where the government is driving the processes, what kind of elections they are going to hold and so on...” Guntsadze said, explaining the reasons why the alternative door-to-door campaign was initiated.

The league doubted that the state Commission for Ensuring Voters’ List Accuracy showed a lower percentage of people living abroad, which according to data provided by international organizations, is much higher.

Guntsadze said the information regarding the voters will be allocated in the database where society would get a full picture of how many people are unidentified, dead or out of the country. Moreover Georgian civil society will be provided with updated information on a weekly basis. He said the government won’t have the opportunity to use the list for “elections carousels.”

He said around 1 million people are out of the country and there is a danger that the ruling United National Movement (UNM) may use their names to vote with their false IDs. Guntsadze said one of the main tasks of his league would be to reveal the real number of emigrants and identify them. The league would share their information with the various international organizations to protect people’s interests during the elections.

Mamuka Katsitadze, Chairman of the State Commission, explained that no official information about the voters’ list has been published by the Commission for Ensuring Voters’ List Accuracy so far and doubted that the league is trying to create false impressions on people.

The state commission began its campaign on April 24. As Katsitadze said, he is ready to consider the results of the League of Voters in the final report on August 1, 2012 hoping that the alternative list won’t become the motivation for political speculations.

Nino Lomjaria, Executive Director of the International Society for Fair Election and Democracy, (ISFED), was worried about the mistrust of people and politicians towards the voters’ list. Welcoming the alternative campaign, Lomjaria spoke of the importance of coordination with the state commission, which is responsible for correcting these mistakes.