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2008-05-16
Saakashivli’s Informational War
Paata Zaqareishvili, majoritarian candidate (single mandate) of the Republican Party and political expert in conflict affairs estimates that the recent tensions in Kodori gorge are part of a PR campaign. There is a tendency of such provocations before elections and this benefits president Mikhail Saakashvili and his corrupted minions.

2008-05-16
Detained Election Commission Members May Apply to Strasbourg
Today Zaza Khatiashvili, single mandate candidate from Republic Party in Sighnaghi District and lawyer Tengiz Bezhashvili held a press-conference at the Human Rights Center’s Kakheti Office. Khatiashvili stated that he intends to appeal to the Human Rights European Court in Strasbourg against the detention of Besik Khatiashvili, member of the Bodbiskhevi District Election Commission and member of the Republician Party.

2008-05-16
Disagreement in Public School in Village of Sakasheti
Teachers punished for complaining to Vardzelashvili

Teachers of the Sakasheti Public School in Gori District were punished for having defended their rights. On March 15 they submitted a letter of complaints to Vardzelashvili, Shida Kartli Regional Governor, and several days later the letter was shared with the person that they had complained about. Eighteen teachers of the school complained about the director who later met them in private and dressed them down over their behavior.

2008-05-16
Elections, No Result, Only Low Expectations
Eight single mandate candidates (majoratarian) are standing off in Kutaisi for the parliamentary elections for May 21, 2008. They want to meet as many locals as possible as part of their pre-election campaigns. Candidates are visiting with voters in the street, yards, residential buildings and people hear one and the same slogan “We Must Restore Kutaizi to its Past Function”. Members of the National Movement, United Opposition, Labor Party, Republic Party and other bloc-parties are all giving much thought to their pre-election promises that have been the same now for fifteen years, (will they remain clueless as how Kutaisi should regain its past glory).

2008-05-15
District Governors Run Election HQs in Kakheti Region
According to the Georgian Election Code, public officials from state and local public agencies cannot take part in the pre-election campaign when they implement their public activities. According to the same code, high-ranking official from the local governmental agency must not use his/her position in favor of any candidate or party during the pre-election campaign. Nevertheless district governors are running election HQs in Kakheti region.

2008-05-15
Access to Information!
Journalists Endlessly Waite for Information

The Human Rights Centre has been waiting for a reply from the Georgian Ministry of Defense for three months without success. On February 5, 2008, the center requested a copy of the contracts signed between the Georgian Ministry of Defense and TV Company “Sakartvelo” Ltd in 2007.

How should journalist act when public information is not issued? Whom should they apply to for the information and what kind of methods are used to request information?

2008-05-15
Single Mother- A Woman without a Patron or a Hereon
“A wife, a cleaner, the breadwinner of the family has to endure insults and nobody even respects you. I often see many families with this kind of situation around me.  As a result, I would rather prefer being a single mother,” says Milena Beritashvili who made the transition in life from homelessness to finding minimum wage in order to survive.

2008-05-15
Pre-Election Fever in Adigeni District
The pre-election campaign in Adigeni is rather tense. Single mandate MP candidate of the Republic Party complains about the oppression and about local public officials who abuse their power.

2008-05-14
Former High-Ranking Officials Take Part in the Polls as Single Mandate Candidate
The United Opposition represented their single mandate candidate in Akhaltsikhe District; he is Ivane Baliashvili, local resident and he is familiar to local voters. “Nobody needs me now,” said Ivane Baliahsvili and he speaks out about the reasons that led to his political discrimination.

2008-05-14
Gori Public Schools Lack Playgrounds and Fenced Grounds
Gori based private public school “Atlanta” is located in the building of the Construction Company # 9 in Besiki Street in Kombinati district of Gori. It has neither play-ground, nor a stadium and its yard is not fenced. Because of lack of the yard children are in danger of getting hit by cars. However, teachers are on duty and take turns carefully watching the children.

2008-05-14
Political Squabble at Telavi University
Police don’t investigate hooliganism of National Movement Members

Despite many demands of the non-governmental organizations and much information has already been distributed by  media sources, the Telavi Department of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs has not opened a criminal  investigation over an incident that occurred on May 7 2008 at Telavi State University. Lecturers and students of the university were meeting with leaders of the United Opposition in the hall of the university. Then activists of the National Movement, the ruling party, rushed into the hall and tried to prevent the meeting from continuing. The activists scolded and cursed Levan Gachechiladze, Salome Zurabishvili, Koba Davitashvili, Fikria Chikhradze and other leaders of the United Opposition for a period of 20 minutes.

2008-05-13
The Librarians Request to Rescue Books
If you should enter Kobuleti Library, named after Gulo-Aga Kaikatsishvili, you will see soon see cellophane over the windows instead of the glass, and a curtain that serves the function of a door leading to the book shelves. The library has 20, 000 books in its collection. However, librarians as well as the readers are concerned; they have even requested government to save the books and reconstruct the library building.

2008-05-13
Diary of Pre-election Terror
Representatives of the opposition parties blame the government for blatant repression. They claim that the ruling political party, with the support of its activists, and a network of law enforcers and administrative employees are openly oppressing supporters of opposition political parties. Non-governmental organizations claim that the worst situation is in Kakehti region of East Georgia.

2008-05-13
Russia Plays Georgia’s Ruling Party’s War Games
Why problems in conflict zones become active before elections?

Georgian media sources have distributed much information about military hostilities in Abkhazia recently. It has become leading topic for our central newspapers and TV Stations in the country. The media speaks about the escalation and emphasizes such facts that supposedly transpired in the contested Gali district. Very often, having checked the information, it is proved that the information is untrue.

2008-05-08
Republicans Speak about Repression in Kutaisi
Resignation letters were written on the behalf of the Election Chairperson a draft letter suddenly appeared on his own desk at the headquarter of the Republican Party in Kutaisi on the morning of the 8th of May. Republican members of district election committee were soon informed about the resignation of Vladimer Nakashidze in the written resignation.

2008-05-08
Black List of Voter Riggers -Giorgi Mosidze Names Exact People
Giorgi Mosidze, a single mandate candidate from the United Opposition in Gori District began his interview with the Human Rights Center by saying that the government intends to carry out elections in the Shoda Kartli Region with the support of so-called criminal authorities. Mosidze spoke about the policy of law enforcers who especially released people from prisons in order to gain their families and their support for the lists of candidates from the ruling National party.

2008-05-08
Raising the Dead for Parliamentary Elections
According to Article 9 of the Georgian Election Code, the deadline for making changes into the election lists has already expired. May 9th was the last day where changes could have been made to the election lists based on recent court decisions. However, according to the request of opposition parties, the CEC prolonged the period for changes until May 13. Now the final and complete version of the lists will be ready for May 15. According to the most recent data, 3,461, 851 citizens are registered as voters on the election lists. However, in spite of good intentions and many comments of observation organizations, dead people are included on the lists.

2008-05-07
Batumi before Elections
Candidates from opposition parties encounter problems in organizing public meetings.

Batumi has not been plastered with election posters yet. Only Teimuraz Charkviani, a single mandate candidate from the National Movement, has his posters in town. The advertisements of cigarettes were replaced with his posters on various billboards.

2008-05-07
Hard Lost Elections: 93 people registered in one flat!
Overcoming “innovative” vote rigging?

The pre-election campaign, as it was already predicted, is heating up and getting tenser. The opposition actively complains about less than a level playing field and attempts to rig up-coming parliamentary elections. The Central Election Commission (CEC) has introduced amendments to the Election Code in response to many complaints.  However, the changes have only impacted the opposition in some ways. This begs the question as what will be final impact of the recently adopted amendments. Will there be any difference between the parliamentary elections and other rigged elections? Will election be fraud and what frauds can be expected?
2008-05-06
Duisi Resident Has Disappeared
Relatives of Davit Gaurgashvili, a resident of the village of Duisi in the Pankisi Valley applied to the Human Rights Center for help. Davit Gaurgashvili has been missing for eleven days already. On April 26 he arrived in Tbilisi by mini-bus and intended to travel to Rustavi. Gaurgashvili was last seen at the Isani Auto Station.

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