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Zurab Kharatishvili Suggested that the District Election Commission Leave State Buildings

 Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

In Shida Kartli region all district election commissions are located in the administrative buildings. Chairperson and members of the regional election commissions can meet the governmental officials at any time because the district administration and the election commission offices have one entrance. The chairman of the Central Election Commission of Georgia Zurab Kharatishvili requested the commission members to be careful in the cooperation with the local officials.

Zurab Kharatishvili met the representatives of the political parties, non-governmental organizations, media and polling stations in Gori. Kharatishvili gave certain recommendations to the regional and district election commission members. He heard some suggestions and information about various violations from the political parties.

“We should avoid the violations which occurred before. Physical assault is a criminal offense but as for the administrative offences, you should be active to eradicate and expose them. If you encounter any violation, try to respond to it and do not get rid of the suitor. We should learn similar shortcomings together, and in this way the trust in the election will increase,” Zurab Kharatishvili stated in Gori.

Kharatishvili suggested that the chairpersons and members of the commission be more attentive in regard with media. “Journalist should not bother you at all. If you think the information is important and interesting for media and society, you should bother journalists and give them information yourselves.”

Guests paid attention to the offices of the district election commissions located in the administrative building. “You should look for new buildings, inform the local authorities about it and ask them to find corresponding offices for you,” suggested Zurab Kharatishvili; but several commission members replied to him: “The law does not prohibit us to work here.” Then Zurab Kharatishvili clarified: “I know that various governmental agencies and the election commissions use one entrance in administrative buildings. Thus, commission members have to meet local officials in the building. Try to have no contract with them. As for buildings, it would be nice if you find new buildings.”

Chairman of the Gori district election commission Giorgi Khorbaladze said that it will be impossible to move to a new building. “For the next elections, I am sure we will have office in a different building. We will not manage to change the office in such a short time.”

The chairman of the CEC suggested that the commission members pay attention to the misuse of the administrative resources. Particularly, to the implementation of the projects which were not envisaged in the budget when it was designed.

Leader of the local office of the Republic Party Davit Razmadze, who is single mandate candidate in Gori for the Alliance for Georgia, stated that the election environment is very tough in Shida Kartli. He said that Kaspi district interim governor gives 60 GEL to the voters in his office.

Razmadze’s information was followed by the response of the chairman of the Kaspi district election commission. “I guess who provided you with this information – it is Khatuna Tatanashvili. She misled entire Georgia during the previous elections too when her party stated at the briefing that Kaspi district election commission had their office closed. I was in the office when somebody called me and said it was reported on TV. While at that moment I was in the office,” said the chairman of the Kaspi district election commission.

Coordinator of the Transparency International – Georgia in Shida Kartli asked the chairman from Kaspi which building their office is located. He said their office is also in the district administration building.

humanrights.ge got in touch with the chairwoman of the Kaspi district office of the Alliance for Georgia Khatuna Tatanashvili. She confirmed that people really get 60 GEL in the office of the interim governor. “Those people, who received 60 GEL, were ready to tell it in the presence of Zurab Kharatishvili; however, the chairman of the CEC could not guarantee their safety and consequently, those people refused to declare it publicly.”

The humanrights.ge has already published article about opening offices of the elections commissions in the state-administrative buildings. (See article http://www.humanrights.ge/index.php?a=article&id=4955&lang=en)
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