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PM’s Signature Found on Supporters’ List of Opposition Presidential Candidate

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, September 20
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze’s personal information and signature have been found on the supporters’ list of the opposition presidential candidate Mikheil Antadze, Imedi TV exclusively reported on Tuesday based on its source.

The Georgian Central Election Commission later confirmed the information and had to make explanations how the supporters’ list, which includes personal information and must not be available, appeared in the hands of the media.

Antadze is the presidential candidate of the State for People movement which is chaired by former member and one of the leaders of the United National Movement Giorgi Vashadze.

The State for People Movement is now among the 10 opposition parties which support the United National Movement candidate Grigol Vashadze as president, as the parties made such an announcement in July this year.

However, the movement has not removed Antadze’s candidacy and stated that it was their election strategy to benefit Grigol Vashadze.

Giorgi Vashadze said that he did not know how the prime minister’s signature could appear in Antadze’s list of supporters.

However, he said that Bakhtadze donated money to the United National Movement for the 2012 parliamentary elections. Bakhtadze still continues to dismiss the fact of donation and says that his bank account was used by some other for the contribution.

Giorgi Kharchilava, the movement member, who coordinated the collection of signatures for Antadze, also said that he knew nothing about the signature.

“It is a comic situation, several people were collecting signatures for Antadze and I will have to talk with them,” Kharchilava said.

The Georgian Central Election Commission (CEC) announced at a briefing shortly after the media reports that they have addressed the Chief Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the fact.

CEC also said that they did not give the list of supporters to Imedi TV.

CEC said that some other individual also contacted them with the complaint that his personal information was illegally used in the list of supporters of one of the presidential candidates for the October 28 race.

“Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze’s personal information is correct in the list, while the signature absolutely differs from the original,” CEC says.

A presidential candidate needs more than 25,000 signatures of supporters to be officially registered. CEC checks the information with the presence of the political party representatives.