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Opposition: GD Representatives Are Appointed as Members of Election Commissions

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, August 29
Georgia’s United National Movement (UNM) has released five secret recordings of phone conversations, which according to the party, proves the election commissions are composed of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party representatives or people recommended by them.

The secret recordings allegedly reveal the names of the future heads of the election commissions, who will be appointed for the presidential elections in Georgia, to be held on August 28.

UNM member Levan Bezhashvili says the Central Election Commission (CEC) directly gets tasks from the GD, despite the fact the ruling party refused to have its candidate in the elections.

He claims that the CEC Chair Tamar Zhvania has “turned the whole office into a GD election headquarters.”

“We, the opposition, call on the CEC Chairperson to resign because what happens now is failure and destruction of the whole institution,” Bezhashvili stated.

Levan Tarkhnishvili, member of the parliamentary minority European Georgia party says that staffing of the district and precinct election commissions are the problem that has existed for many years and NGOs, as well as the international observers, have mentioned it.

"It is unfortunate that the CEC has done nothing to solve this problem. As for the audio recordings, it should be studied,” he said.

The authenticity of the recordings has not been established but as the CEC stated, they are studying the issue.

They explain that they learned about the recordings from media and will not leave any such information unverified to eliminate any doubts regarding the electoral process.

CEC spokesperson Ana Mikeladze says if the violations are revealed, they will take proper measures.

“We will not allow anyone to shadow the process of the elections. We will study the recordings, and if the information in them proves to be real, we will react strictly,” she noted.

Chairman of the Krtsanisi District Election Commission Davit Petviashvili, whose name was mentioned in the secret recordings spread by the UNM, has applied to the CEC chairperson for his resignation.