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Soldiers from Different Regions Voted for Gardabani District Majoritarian Candidates

04.10.2012

Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli

In Gardabani district, National Movement is ahead in both majoritarian and proportional lists. Representatives of the Coalition Georgian Dream’s Gardabani office stated that results from the Vaziani Military Base significantly impacted the election of majoritarian candidate.

Georgian Dream claims that soldiers from different regions of Georgia, who serve in Vaziani military base, voted for the Gardabani district majoritarian candidates. This was a violation.

Humanrights.ge visited Gardabani District Election Commission to find out more about the situation. The DEC secretary clarified that soldiers did in fact receive two ballot papers on the election day and they voted for Gardabani district majoritarian candidates. Gardabani DEC members believe soldiers had this right in accordance with the Election Code.

Article 5 of the Election Code reads: “voters listed in special lists participate: a) in majoritarian and proportional elections if he/she changes location within one election district but during local municipal elections – in the territory of one local election district.”

So, it is logical to assume in accordance to the law that voters from special lists living in different regions should have voted in their place of temporary residence, which was the military base.

The complaint of an observer from the Institute for Democracy and Business Development D. Kupreishvili reads: “I was an observer in the Vaziani Special Polling Station # 65 and observed the following violation: soldiers participated both in proportional and majoritarian elections. The Precinct Election Commission acted in accordance with Article 32 Part VII of the Election Code, which is in blatant violation of the law. In fact, PECs should have acted in accordance to the Article 32 Part V. I explained to the PEC chairman that Paragraph VII was valid for those soldiers who wanted to vote in their place of residence and in this particular case the law clarifies all necessary procedures. In reply to my request, the chairman said that he had received verbal instructions from the District Election Commission to give both ballot papers to the soldiers.”

Kupreishvili has filed three complaints on violations in military bases. He underlines in those complaints that PEC chairpersons accepted his remark but did not take it into account while counting the votes.

We inquired about the fate of D. Kupreishvili’s complaint at the DEC. They clarified that DEC had not taken action as a result of any of his complaints.

Three polling stations – PS # 64, 65 and 66 - were opened in Vaziani Military Base. Soldiers in the aforementioned polling stations voted with both ballot papers. After the polling procedures finished, the ballot papers were taken to PS # 33, 34 and 38.

The observer from the Institute for Democracy and Business Development indicated in his complaints that he was against mixing up soldiers’ votes with the votes of other polling stations. The complaints show that observer had previously warned PECs about it and since the ballot papers were not yet mixed up with other precincts, they could resolve this problem.

Nobody reacted to the observer’s protest and residents of various regions of Georgia and registered soldiers voted for Gardabani district majoritarian candidates. Recent data of CEC shows that majoritarian candidate of the UNM Giorgi Peikrishvili won the elections. He received 57,04% of votes and Georgian Dream’s candidate Mamuka Areshidze gained only 40,61% of votes.

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