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Do public servants violate the election code?

August 24, 2016
Shorena Kakabadze, Kutaisi

The opposition parties blame the representatives of the government in the violation of the election code. Single mandate candidate of the Republic Party, Nato Katamadze in the Kutaisi election district, declares that the representatives of the Kutaisi local self-government make pre-election propaganda during working hours, therefore, violate the Georgian legislation. 

“There is total chaos in this regard in our city. The employees of the Kutaisi City Hall and NGOs instead of implementing their duties conduct pre-election campaigns during the whole days in social networks. It was discussed many times, but in vain. I do not know why they are not forbidden to do similar activities”, - Nato Katamadze says. 

According to the information of, the head of Organizational and Human Resources Department at the Kutaisi City Council Levan Gogelashvili promoted the Georgian Dream in the social network during several days. With this action he violated the law, in particularly the Election Code of Georgia. 

Levan Gogelashvili does not comment on the accusation. In the Kutaisi City Hall, they say the pre-election campaign goes on with the total respect to the law and nobody can forbid a person to express his/her personal views to anybody, even if it is political party or a politician. 

According to the article 45, part IV of the Election Code of Georgia: “Anybody can take part in the pre-election propaganda, except the employees of local self-government and state government, public servants, when they implement their direct duties during working hours”.  

The same code’s article 79 says that if the law is violated “the participation in the pre-election propaganda will entail the punishment, in particular, 2 000 GEL fine”. 
“The sanction does not work in Georgia, of course. At least, it was not applied yet. For some reason, those people are not forbidden to do the activities. Moreover, the employees of the City Municipality are actively involved in the processes – they sit in front of computers for the whole day and without any discomfort conduct open propaganda. All lf them will take vacations from September and we will see that they will automatically become leaders of the election bureaus or other election offices”, - Nato Katamadze says. 

The member of the Kutaisi organization of political union New Georgia, Zaal Khonelidze also spoke about the violations. He said: “Public law legal entities received million GELs in order to conduct the pre-election propaganda. Those people do not hesitate. They make the pre-election campaign during the whole day, including working hours, in the social networks (and not only).”