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In Guria Region Candidates of the National Movement Misuse Administrative Resources during Pre-Election Campaign

 Shorena Ghlonti, Guria

“Ozurgeti district governor Avtandil Mekvabishvili made decisions in regard with the activities planned within the Rural Development Program,” said interim district governor Mamia Baramidze.

On May 5, Interim chairperson of the Ozurgeti district office of the United National Movement Avtandil Mekvabishvili, single mandate candidate from the small town Naruji Valodia Beridze and representatives of the companies which won various competitions met interim district governor Mamia Baramidze in his office at 11:00 am.

At that time, the chairwoman of the Ozurgeti district organization of the Movement for the Just Georgia Lela Natsvaladze arrived at the office of the district governor and requested the officials to clarify to her what the purpose of their meeting was. The meeting finished as soon as Natsvaladze arrived there.

Next day, on May 8, Mamia Baramidze requested Lela Natsvaladze to stop “destructive activities.”

The press-release of the Ozurgeti district administration states that interim district governor Mamia Baramidze calls upon the local leader of the National Council Lela Natsvaladze to finish destructive activities and act in accordance to the election law during the pre-election campaign.

The press-release also states that Natsvaladze tries to dramatize the pre-election campaign and to mislead the process from the legislative frames artificially. “More precisely, at 11:30 am on May 7, Natsvaladze together with her supporters broke into the office of the interim district governor where the officials were discussing the activities planned within the second stage of the Rural Development Program and insulated the attendees of the meeting.”

Ozurgeti district administration states that the local authority does not interfere in the pre-election campaign and political parties will not be able to involve the local authority in the process by their threat and hooliganism. Similar activities hinder the local government to implement their lawful responsibilities.

Interim district governor states that if any political party acts illegally, the local authority will appeal to the law enforcement agencies.

Lela Natsvaladze said Ozurgeti district authority and the resigned district governor, who is candidate of the ruling party, Avtandil Mekvabishvili was giving directions to the resigned commissary of the small town Naruji Valodia Beidze and members of the National Movement. They used the building of the district administration for the meeting. It is one more fact when the ruling party misuses the administrative resources to win the elections.

Mamia Baramidze confirmed at the special press-conference that they really discussed the issues about the Rural Development Program together with the resigned district governor and resigned commissary of Naruji.

“Everybody wonders how Mekvabishvili attended the meeting. I will clarify. It is a project which was launched when Mekvabishvili was district governor. He decided what was to be done in each family and he had all data about the needs of the population. I called Avto Mekvabishvili because he had the information which I needed. I invited Valodia Beridze because he was a representative of the small town,” said Baramidze at the press-conference.

Board member of the Coalition for Civil Development Kakhaber Sopromadze said Natsvaladze has not breached the law. Every citizen has right to get information about ongoing activities in the public agency and what is the topic of the meeting if it is not officially closed. He added that as for the meeting in the presence of the members of the National Movement, current district governor and agencies shall decide funding issues. Involvement of the candidates is illegal in the process. It can be viewed as misuse of the administrative resources. “When district governor or organizes meetings together with the members of the National Movement, he breaches Article 61, 73-11 of the Law of Georgia on Public Agencies and Article 73 Part 9 and Article of the Election Code.”
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