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Voters from Khoni Complain about Political Persecution

14.09.2012

Mari Tabidze, Khoni

Georgian Dream’s representatives in Khoni district complain about local government’s oppression on local population. Coalition members state similar facts have been observed in all villages of the district. However, several facts happened in Dedalauri village.

Head of the Georgian Dream’s Khoni organization Aleko Vekua said: “The families, who receive social aid, are threatened with deprivation of the aid. Similar facts were observed in Dedalauri village where people could not meet our majoritarian candidate. We have spread statement regarding all similar facts. Despite that, they still continue oppression on the population; moreover, people, who support us and are employed, are threatened with firing.”

Chapter 6 of the Election Code of Georgia reads: “Any person, with the exception of members of election commissions, Judges; Public officials of the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Defense, Special Service of International Intelligence and State Security, shall have the right to perform and take part in pre-election agitation.”

The same chapter states: “local self-governmental bodies are authorized to support election subjects in meeting voters and organizing or holding assemblies, public debates and discussions, meetings and manifestations and ensure security of these events.”

The woman, who was threatened with seizing social aid, did not want to tell her name to us: “I have nothing to hide but I am sure, after my comment with you they will again threaten me. I am a lonely person and years ago I voted for Nika Sanodze. I am going to vote him again. This government gives me social aid because I deserve it. I have no bread-winner in the family and spent all summer without fridge. I earn my own living and deserve this aid as well. They do not have right to seize it from me,” the woman told us.

Another voter also complained that they were threatened with firing a family member from job: “I do not work. My son is working. One day the neighbor told me Nika Sanodze was meeting people in the street and I went there. I did not say anything there. My son returned home that evening and half an hour later somebody came and told him: “your father must stop attending Georgian Dream’s meetings.” If my son learns that I have spoken to you now, he would get angry with me again because he will be rebuked for it.”

Khobi district governor Zurab Jibukhaia denied the facts mentioned in this letter. “It is not true. We respect decision and choice of every citizen. None of our deputies and governors visit villages and threaten or scare people. I can assure you in it. Even if it happens, nothing will stop a person if he/she wants to meet a political subject regardless oppression and intimidation.”

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