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A Citizen Requests the Declaring of Article 116 Part VII of the Election Code Unconstitutional In Lawsuit Prepared by Human Rights Center

02.08.2012

Human Rights Center (HRC) represents Georgian citizen Besik Adamia in court when he fights for the right to participate in the Parliamentary Elections of Georgia scheduled on October 1 as a majoritarian independent candidate in the Kutaisi single-mandate majoritarian election district # 59.

In order to be eligible for participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections, Article 116 Part VII of the Georgian Georgian Election Code stipulates that Besik Adamia does two things after being nominated by a voters’ initiative group. As a majoritarian candidate, Adamia shall provide the district election commission with a list of supporters and a bank notification proving that he has deposited 5,000 lari onto the bank account of the Central Election Commission. However, while Besik Adamia has the support of voters, he cannot afford to make the deposit.

Article 116, Part VII of the Georgian Election Code states: “the money allocated on the mentioned deposit will be completely returned to the candidate if she/he gains at least 10% of votes in the relevant elections. Otherwise, the money will be transferred to the state budget of Georgia.” Part XII of the same article states: “the chairperson of the district election commission will not register the candidate for the parliamentary elections of Georgia if: …the requirements and terms of Part VII are breached.”

Thus, if a candidate does not provide a bank notification verifying the 5,000 lari deposit, she/he will not be registered as a candidate.

This requirement of the Election Code only applies to one election subject – a majoritarian candidate nominated by the initiative group of voters. The same requirement does not apply for majoritarian candidates nominated by political parties or  blocs.

Human Rights Center believes that the imposition of such a mandatory  requirement on election participants, who have equal rights, violates Article 14  of the Constitution of Georgia – the principle of equality before the law. This provision demonstrates that if a concrete person wishes to participate in the elections as an independent majoritarian candidate, who is not associated with any political party or election block, she/he shall transfer 5 000 lari worth so-called election guarantee on the CEC bank account.

Human Rights Center prepared a constitutional lawsuit, wherein Besik Adamia is a suitor who has lodged a suit against the Constitutional Court of Georgia on July 27, 2012.

In the lawsuit, Besik Adamia requests that Article 116 Part VII of the Georgian Election Code be declared unconstitutional with regard to Article 14 and Article 29 Part I of the Constitution of Georgia.

As prepared by HRC, the constitutional suit requests not only that the Constitutional Court suspend the disputed provision of Article 116 Part VII of the Election Code before the Court passes its final verdict, but also that the suit is discussed in the shortest time possible. Otherwise, the Court might damage, irremediably, the right of the suitor to participate in the elections together with other election subjects, under equal conditions. 

Human Rights Center
02.08.12 

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