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Repeat elections in Georgia went peacefully

By Keti Arjevanidze
Monday, October 15
The 2012 Georgian parliamentary repeat election’s ballot in the majoritarian system was held on October 14 in 11 precincts. The repeat ballot was appointed in three constituencies– Sighnaghi, Gori and Khashuri.

The decision to repeat the elections was made by the CEC during the meeting held on October 10. The results in those precincts were annulled because of violations involving masked, armed men breaking into several polling stations; police riot gear was also involved in some of the incidents.

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association was observing the process of the elections in every precinct. Also, the NGO, New Generation New Initiative was leading a monitor on the voting process in those 11 precincts.

In Khashuri, the UNM majoritarian deputy candidate Sergo Kitiashvili withdrew his candidacy on October 13. The Khashuri Georgian Dream’s majoritarian candidate’s and his supporters’ pressure was the reason behind his decision. Kitiashvili said that there was continuous aggression and pressure on his campaign staff members and on the local election commission officials as well, by his rival candidate from Georgian dream Valeri Gelashvili and his supporters. Kitiashvili expressed hope that the “blackmail and violence” won’t be out of attention. But Georgian Dream’s Gelashvili campaign staff denied the allegation.

Despite the UNM candidate’s announcement of withdrawal, his name was on the ballot paper. The CEC’s spokeswoman, Eka Azarashvili, designated that “all the candidates have the right to announce their withdrawal, but as the dates are settled, on election bulletin Sergo Kitiashvili’s name will be indicated,” said Azarashvili on October 13.

The head of Khashuri’s Constituency Committee, Imedo Latsabidze, said that the process of elections in Khashuri was peaceful and there were no complaints registered.

Repeat elections were also held in precinct N5 in Sighnaghi, where Levan Bezhuashvili of the UNM and the Georgian Dream’s nominee Gela Gelashvili were major candidates.

The voting process began noisily in Vakiri N5 precinct in Sighnaghi, where there are 893 voters. Demur Gzirishvili, representative of the Georgian Dream, went with a list, in order to check via comparing the list on the wall. The fact caused a protest from observer Davit Gobejishvili, but Mamuka Korashvili, head of Sighnaghi’s N13 election commission said that it did not have any meaning because they had the original version of the list and the conflict was eradicated peacefully.

Korashvili also mentioned the problem which the electors of Vakiri N5 precinct had, about the absence of transitional boxes, and he explained that the application about the necessity of transitional boxes could be done two days earlier than the election.

Repeat elections were also held in the N4 precinct in Gori, where the UNM’s Giorgi Tatishvili and the Georgian Dream’s Malkhaz Vakhrtangishvili were candidates. The voting process went calmly.