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ELECTIONS

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2008-04-30
National Movement 3rd Majoritarian Candidate for Tsalenjikha District Voters
On April 22 Mikheil Machavariani, vice-speaker of the Georgian Parliament, introduced Roland Fifia, a Russia-based Georgian businessman, to the voters of the Tsalenjikha District as the Majoritarian candidate standing  from the National Movement. Gia Mebonia, former District Governor who was first promoted as the majoritarian candidate two weeks ago, and then Gia Kharchilava, and the chairperson of the Municipality Board consider this fact as just some kind of misunderstanding. They are both competing with each other to demonstrate just how faithful they are to the Georgian President. Tsalenjikh’s voters connect the on-going situation with inner-governmental and inner-party backbiting.
2008-04-29
Candidates for MP Are Busy Bribing Voters
Bribing of voters is prohibited by both the Election Code and the Criminal Code. However, candidates for Majoritarian MP, mostly from United National Movement (the leading party) are freely giving out presents to voters. Similar acts have been revealed by local and central TV companies almost everyday; however no criminal case has been launched yet.
2008-04-24
Tbilisi Prosecutor Involved in Blatant Violation of Election Law
Gurjaani Election Precinct # 12 registered Giorgi Ghviniashvili from the United National Movement as a candidate for MP through the majoritarian (single mandate) system and as a result, the Georgian election law has been breached. The Georgian Code of Elections and it requirements that certain demands must be considered by the Central Election Commission, which  Ghviniahsivli has not provided  proof of resignation to the Precinct Election Commission and the supporting document that he does not work as the Tbilisi Prosecutor.
2008-04-22
Opposition Complains About “Unequal Conditions” in Gori
Locals are predicting that pre-election campaign among the candidates of majority membership of the parliament will be too tough.  The opposing sides of the National Movement and United Opposition was added with yet a third side, Jumber Patiashvili who also will be participating in the balloting. The Patiashvili’s factor has turned everything upside down in Gori. The local authority has panicked. The election HQ of the leading party works very hard and puts in overtime in trying to land on its feet.
2008-04-14
CEC and Georgian Parliament: No to Transparent Elections
The Central Election Commission (CEC) is trying to limit the transparency of the upcoming elections. The amendment adopted by the Parliament on March 21 has this aim in mind. Under the conditions of this amendment, tapes from the video cameras in the polling stations will no longer be made publicly available.

2008-04-14
Saakashvili Invites Shevardnadze’s Supporters Back to the Parliament
April 21 is the deadline for the introduction of majority candidates for various election precincts. In spite that several days remain till this candidate is official those from the Kakheti already knows who will be candidate for the leading party in their region. Alongside of businesspersons and people from former leading party “Citizen’s Union” current high-ranking officials from the Security Service Departments and Prosecutor’s Offices also take part in the Parliamentary Elections on May 21 2008.

2008-04-10
Teachers Are Terrorized, Disobedient Ones Fired
The closer that parliamentary elections are approaching the supporters of the opposition political parties are being that much more threatened and abused, including family members. The district administration, municipality council, police department, prosecutor’s office, district offices of the leading party, as well as other governmental bodies have closed ranks being the ruling National Party. They are trying their best to win opposition activists over to their side by threatening and blackmailing. If the opposition activists refuse to come across to their side they are soon fired from their jobs or worst. There are even instances of where those without jobs are being threatened with the possibility of their relatives being set up and arrested for crimes they did not commit, which is another ploy to pressure them into changing their political loyalties.  

2008-04-08
Pre-Election Shenanigans in Gori
Badri Nanetashvili, Shida Kartli “media magnate” is trying to return to power politics for a second time.  It is documented Nanetashvili, director of TV-company Trialeti, now wants to become a MP.  He used to be an MP until he was dismissed from the parliament on June 21, 2006 based on a decision of the majority of MPs. The reason for his dismissal was that Nanetashvili was still involved in entrepreneurial activities, which is a conflict of interests and law. Moreover, he was blackmailing high governmental authorities and businesspersons of Shida Kartli with discrediting news reports on his TV Company. The Public Defender’s report of 2006 fully describes his activities and why he was kicked from the Parliament. 

2008-04-03
Whose Membership Is More Important in Parliament: “Businessmen or Drivers?”
The pre-election battle has already started heating up for the up-coming Parliamentary Elections on May 21. Political parties, both oppositional and governmental ones, have been actively involved the process with finger pointing, name calling and deal making. Each party has its own selective method of fighting it out in the political trenches. The National Movement tries to gain the sympathy of people in various ways, not only by making various promises but tries to improve its image by offering familiar faces for future parliament members.  In the new list of National Movement you will see not only culture figures but pragmatic business leaders as well. Why would such upstanding and successful people ever want to get politics in the first place? Are they ready to give up their successful businesses and get into the fight against the opposition and become public servants?
2008-04-02
Stones Thrown in the Flooded Liakhvi River, Yellow-Red Facades, Japanese Quince Trees against Poverty
At last the pre-election campaign in Gori has been initiated in the name of “Poverty Reduction Program” and prosperity is within a stones throw. With much fanfare in the last week almost all high-ranking officials from the executive government have visited Gori and its various districts. The officials enjoyed watching how stone were being thrown in the flooded Liakhvi River. Several ministers with their deputies arrived in Gori from Tbilisi just to see heaps of stones that had delivered from Marneuli district.

2008-04-01
Sidewalks and Side-deals: Characteristic Feature for Pre-Election Campaign
Pre-election campaign is starting out with the removal of broken sidewalks and ends with the laying of a new layer of concrete or tiles, which will need replacement the next election. Habits are hard to break, especially when the local government maintains the same traditions as to what has gone before. Now it is all busy work and the central part of the city is getting dug in the run-up to May parliamentary elections.

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