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Uncountable Voters in the Small Country

April 7, 2010

Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli

Kvemo Kartli region was always considered to be the “granary of the pro-governmental votes”. It was often unclear whether the ruling parties were winning the elections in the region through fabrication or that opposition parties did not work with the local population properly. “Saakashvili won the elections in Kvemo Kartli at the expense of the villages empty from people,” said one of the leaders of the opposition parties, Koba Davitashvili, during TV-debates.

One of the principle conditions of fair elections is election lists where our dead ancestors and residents of the unreal residential buildings shall not be inserted.

“I have the honor to declare that in Rustavi we have one of the best election lists throughout Georgia. The addresses and IDs coincide with the reality at 100 %. According to official documents, the number of the so called dead voters on the list is almost zero. However, dead people, whose relatives have not taken death certificates yet, might be on the list. This problem was quite urgent in the past too,” said the chairperson of the election commission in Rustavi election district # 20, Ioseb Shvelidze.

Nevertheless, the head of the Rustavi office of the political party “Freedom” Irakli Kajaia speaks about the voters who are registered in the police station and in the building of the department store.

“We informed the election commission about those voters. They agreed it was a violation but those people really live in Rustavi. They asked us to look for those people and later they would issue IDs according to their residence,” said Kajaia.

The Election Commission does not deny the fact; however, they state that they do not have any right to make voters indicate exact address in their IDs.

“In this direction, citizens shall be more active. People are really registered in the police station but it happened because the building was previously a dormitory. Now, those people are living in different districts of Rustavi. They should have a sense of responsibility and get registered according to their correct residential place,” said the chairperson of the Election Commission.

The head of the Rustavi office of the Christian-Democratic Party Aleksandre Akhvlediani criticized the election lists. “The addresses are not indicated completely. For example, the name is written and the address is only 21st micro-district. How can we find the person in the huge micro-district without indicating the exact residential building and flat? For example – Natia Macharashvili?! The data of the 7th micro-district is written in the same way. We cannot check the voters according to the indicated addresses.

As usual, there are a lot of dead people on the lists. I can understand that it is impossible to withdraw persons who died two months ago from the list, but why should the person who died in 1970 be on the list? A lot of elections were held since then and people always requested to withdraw similar people from the lists; though they are still there.

There are flats where a huge number of voters are registered. For example, 38 people are registered in the Leselidze Street # 52, App. 17 in Rustavi. Large families are registered in Saakasdze Street too; almost every family has 11 and more members.

The members of the election commission state that the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the incorrectly registered addresses; the ministry had sent the lists to them.

Representative of the Movement for the Just Georgia in Rustavi Nukri Shatirishvili complained about the government which prevents them from carrying out pre-election activities in Rustavi. “They have “arrested” the application forms which were to be distributed among the voters door by door. The private companies which had to print the application forms were sealed up.”

The political party “Freedom” complains about the same problems. Opposition parties are afraid that election lists will become the reason for the fraud elections in the region again. Soon we will see what will be done to gain victory in the elections. Before that, we have to guess the puzzle – I counted and counted but could not count through – what is it?