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Kakheti – Pre-Election Digest # 4

September 5, 2012

From August 26 to August 31, Information Center of Kakheti observed 1 fact of voters’ bribery, abuse of administrative resources, oppression and 2 facts of attempted failure of pre-election meeting.

Bribery of Voters, Abuse of Administrative Resources

On August 31, Information Center of Kakheti spread photo and video materials which prove that activists of the United National Movement distribute wheat flour, rice, oil and washing powder among population in Telavi. According to the verified information, per family received 10 kg of wheat four, 5 kg of sugar, 1 bottle of oil and 2 packets of washing powder. Telavi district deputy governor Vazha Zuroshvili stated that about 8 thousand families will receive aid in Telavi who were victimized by the natural disaster. According to the ICK’s information, those families, who were not damaged by natural disaster or were slightly damaged, will also receive aid. UNM activist, who gave out products to local people, did not answer ICK’s question why he was wearing UNM election t-shirt when distributing the aid. Attorney of Telavi territorial entity Gigi Likokeli also avoided answering that question. Lawyer Irine Urushadze of the Transparency International – Georgia stated that since people wearing UNM t-shirts are distributing the aid, the distribution process is associated which that particular political party. It is not important who had purchased those presents and who organized the distribution process; voters perceive they receive presents from the political party and bribery of voters is evident. Head of UNM Kakheti regional office Giorgi Botkoveli clarified that a person, distributing the aid, supposedly was passer-by and he had nothing to do with the National Movement. “I would like to clearly declare that our activists are not involved in this process; that person was not our activist. A lot of people wear our t-shirts; so similar person was observed during distribution. Personally I categorically oppose involvement of any political party in the use of administrative resources and nobody shall gain support by using administrative resources. I think that person had arrived there to get aid and he was not distributor at all,” Botkoveli said.

Oppression, Attempt to Fail Pre-election Meeting

Woman was compelled to refuse to become election commission member On August 27, Lina Solomnishvili, coordinator of the Georgian Dream’s Vazisubani village office, reported to ICK that their supporter Manana Turkishvili was compelled to refuse to become precinct election commission.  “Manana Turkishvili was to be our representative in the PEC but they compelled her to withdraw her application back. She is accountant at a shop; the shop owner and National Movement’s activists visited her at home and threatened her with firing her relatives from jobs,” Lina Solomnishvili said. Manana Turksiashvili confirmed the oppression fact but she refrained from naming concrete abusers.

Attempt to fail meeting in Telavi –Attorney of Telavi central territorial entity within the Telavi district administration Gigi Likokeli tried to fail the meeting of Gela Samkharauli, majoritarian candidate of the Georgian Dream in Telavi, with voters. Likokeli waited for Gela Samkharauli at the place of meeting and before he started reading election program to voters, Likokeli asked him: “Tell us what you promise to people.” The attorney did not allow voters to speak about their problems and after they expressed their dissatisfaction Gigi Likokeli left area.

Police officers did not let Luka Kurtanidze to enter Leliani village –Police officers did not allow Luka Kurtanidze, majoritarian candidate of the Georgian Dream in Lagodekhi district, to meet residents of Leliani village victimized by natural disaster. “When second natural disaster occurred in Leliani village, president arrived here and he might have heard that I called him a liar; so they blocked my way for that reason. Initially they blocked my way near Kabali village and then police officers were ordered to block my way near Apeni village. Cars were parked alongside the entire road and we could not continue our way. They said huge trees had fallen down on the road and we could not go; in fact no trees were torn out and our meeting was previously planned,” Kurtanidze said.

Information Center of Kakheti will publish pre-election digest every Saturday before October 1, 2012
Responsible person for the content of the digest Gela Mtivlishvili
Cell phone:  599 34 34 77

See previous digests:

Kakheti – Pre-election Digest # 1 (August 1- 10)
Kakheti – Pre-election Digest # 2 (August 11-18)
Kakheti-Pre-election Digest # 3 (August 19-25)