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CEC chairperson: ‘More money needed if election campaign starts in May’

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, April 28
The head of Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC), Tamar Zhvania, says her body will need an additional 5 million GEL to pay salaries if re-election campaigning starts in May.

She also said communication and transport expenses may also increase.

Zhvania added the election administration is a well-trained and well-developed institution that can conduct elections “any day".

The date for starting pre-election campaigning has become a subject of dispute.

The upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia are scheduled for October this year. The President and the Prime Minister agree that the elections should take place on October 8, but they still do not agree on the date for the launch of pre-election campaigning.

The PM and the President met about a month ago, after which the President announced October 8 as the election day and August 8 as the date for the start of the pre-election campaigning.

The President said the early announcement of the election day would enable parties to better prepare for the elections, while starting pre-election campaigning two months before the elections would save budgetary money.

The PM also highlighted the importance of spending less money from the state budget.

However, the date of August 8 caused significant dissatisfaction amongst the opposition and the civil sector, who said a two-month period - especially with one month in the height of summer - would not be sufficient time for informing voters about election programs.

After the stir, the PM said it would be better to start the pre-election campaigning in July instead of August.

There was such an impression that the PM and the President agreed on August 8 together and finally it turned out that the announcing of only two month of pre-election campaigning was only the “President’s mistake”.

Following the PM’s statement, the President said he would name May as the launch of pre-election campaigning.

However, the President’s decision must have the PM’s agreement, otherwise it is not valid.

The issue revealed the lack of good communication between state institutions and the questionable competence of the government's legal advisors.

However, state officials must first of all think about the state interests, especially when they run a country of thousands of poor people.