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CEC punishes District Election Commission Member for Exposing Election Fraud

11.02.2008
On February 4, 2008 the Georgian Central Election Commission, CEC, dismissed Zurab Danelishvili, a member of the Gurjaani District Election Commission # 12 before his employment contract had expired. The CEC alleged that Zurad Danelishvili violated Articles 21 and Article 77 of the Code of the CEC, as well as other election procedures. Regardless of the ledger of guilt or innocence, Danelishvili and his supporters are now accusing Levan Tarkhnishvili, chief of the CEC for having other motivations in the matter. They have come out publicly and told how the CEC, especially its management participated  in suppressing  freedom of speech and persecuted people merely for thinking a different way (and allowed vote rigging to take place), as demonstrated during recent snap presidential elections.
According to the CEC website, the Commission dismissed Danelishvili for contravention of election procedures (Article 164 of the Criminal Code of Georgia: infringement of secrecy of voting, improper counting of votes and incorrect summarization of election results). The Commission supposedly made their decision according to the Election Code of Georgia, article 21, 71 and the standing CEC session protocol of January 24, 2008, that deals on with violations of the election legislation and election regulations.
At the same session, the Central Election Commission approved the tests for the Election Administration Officials Certification. CEC Press Department commented on his dismissal Danelishvili and stated: “While attending January 24, 2008 CEC meeting, Zurab Danelishvili used foul language against other members of the CEC and prevented them from performing their duties.”

Zurad Danelishvili considers that the CEC decision is being totally groundless and without legal merit. .He now plans to file a court case in the matter. He states as his basis he punished for having revealed violations of the election code and vote fraud.

“I considered that the results of polling station # 33 of Gurjaani District as being faked.  I then informed the CEC about the facts and demanded that the elections results for this station be invalidation. However, the response was that instead of being respected for doing my duty, I was punished instead. Only 808 voters cast ballots at polling station #33 on the day of the snap presidential elections in early January.  However, when the vote was actually counted there 934 votes cast, and this is the actual number that was later registered in the subsequent official protocol. I was then “advised” to back down from the serious allegations that I had made. However, in spite of their treats, I did not. It is not so easy to frighten me.

 

I was then asked to attend the CEC meeting on January 24 but in spite of being asked to be there I was not allowed to say anything. When I protested, Levan Tarkhnishvili, head of the CEC, had me removed from the room. The commission then wrote up a protocol that outlined how I had infringed upon the standing orders of the CEC, which is a lie,” explained Danelishvili.

The CEC had supposely adjudicated the letter of the Georgian Public Defender during the January 24th meeting. The Office of the Georigan Public Defender had demanded in writing that Natalia Begashvili, head of the polling statin #33 of Gurjaani District be held accountable for her actions, and that the offical results of that polling stations be invalidated as null and void. However, in spite of all the testimony and the circumstances already described, the CEC allowed the election results to stand unchanged.

Noted the Human Rights Center when it looked closely into the serious allegations. “Danelishvili told that he had been threatened. Moroover, he was told that his children would have problems with the police, and how the police would even plant drugs into  their pockets in order to frame them.  Nonetheless, Danelishvili still is not backing down from what he has said.  He has no intention whatsoever of changing his story, in spite of the threats against his children.  It is highly likely that his staunch position is what is irritating Tarkhnishvili and those working at the CEC the most. The motivation is clear, as they only want to frighten other members of the commission for the future,  as they want to make make sure that nothing negative will be said about fraud and election irregularities during the upcoming parliamentary election.”

Protectors of human rights in Georgia consider that the dismissal of Danelishvili is a sure sign that guaranteed freedoms have been violated, such as freedom of speech. Lia Khuroshvili, lawyer of the Human Rights Center considers that the  CEC has used punutive means against Danelishvili for having brought to light serious allegations and  facts of vote fraud and that the CEC has intentionally violated the law.  The Georgian Human Rights Center now addresses all Embassies, Foreign Mission and International Oganizations working in Georgia to take notice of such allegations,and further requests that they take a position in reaction to what now appears to have been criminal activities on the part of the Georigan CEC.

Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti 

 

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