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Davit Bezhuashvili Organized a Party for Voters

06.06.2012

Information Center of Kvemo Kartli

On June 4th information Agency “INFO 9” publicized a reportage, which tells the story about Tetritskaro Municipality’s MP – Davit Bezhuashvili hosting the local inhabitants with the holiday feast. Such kind of action can be perceived as vote buying and requires thorough investigation.

“Tetristskaro district independent MP Davit Bezhuashvili organized a Supra [party] in the yard of St. Trinity Church for the voters. The villagers said they are impoverished and have plenty of problems – the village is not supplied with drinking water, the houses, damaged during the earthquake, were not repaired, the internal roads are also damaged. Local inhabitants request gasification of the village as well. They said they have petitioned to the district administration several times but in vain. The local government states their small budget cannot fund those projects. Locals said the Supra was organized in the framework of the pre-election campaign. Insulted villagers said how they were invited to the party on the previous day and the party cost 4 500 lari; however only one person dared to speak about it loudly. In private talks people said the Bezhuashvili intensively organizes similar Supras in various villages. People said one of the families in Goubani village had to postpone funeral because of Bezhuashvili’s supra in their village on May 20. INFO 9 interviewed independent member of the municipal board from Asureti village about the issue. After our film-crew left the village, our brave respondent called us and said police officers visited her at home and warned against giving similar interviews to INFO 9 in future,” the news agency INFO 9 reported.

One of the respondents of the video reportage states that the day before the Asuretoba holiday the “inviters” told the inhabitants that Davit Bezhuashvili was inviting them to a feast. The video reportage shows the preparations for the holiday feast and the MP himself. In addition, the news agency reported that according to the public, Davit Bezhuashvili “intensively sets the similar feasts (supras) in other villages as well”.

 Under the organic law of Georgia on “Political Unions of Citizens”, a political party is prohibited from handing over money, gifts and other material or intangible property to Georgian citizens through candidates, representatives or other individuals. In addition to that, under Article 161(1) of the Criminal Code, direct or indirect transfer of money and/or other property for political reasons is punishable by law up to three years of jail or by a fine.

Deriving from the aforementioned, it is possible that criminal offense was committed. It has to be noted that the person providing such gifts is a member of a political party underlining political motivation of this action. We appeal to the Chamber of Control of Georgia and the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia to investigate aforementioned fact and react accordingly.

According to the TI-Georgia, Tamaz Gvelukashvili, a member of Rustavi City Council from United National Movement, has sent sheep and wine to several city districts for Easter, which from the legal point of view can be considered as bribing of voters. Chamber of Control launched administrative investigation based on the TI appeal.
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