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Authorities Accused of Barring Opposition MPs from Elections
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Aug.'06 / 17:29

MP Koba Davitashvili, leader of the opposition Conservative Party and MP Davit Berdzenishvili of the opposition Republican Party said on August 28 that by setting October 5 as an elections date, they have been deprived of the right to run in the polls.

Davitashvili said he planned to run in the Tbilisi mayoral race, while MP Berdzenishvili wanted to run for the Mayor’s office in Batumi, Adjara Autonomous Republic, but the elections date sets new deadlines for registering procedures that will be impossible to meet.

“According to the current law, a member of the Georgian Parliament, who wants to run in local self-governance elections should first be stripped of his MP credentials. The procedure should take place at a parliamentary session. But the problem is that the first session of Parliament is scheduled for September 12, while the deadline for a [Mayoral] candidate to submit an application to the Central Election Commission expires on September 11. So I can say for sure that this decision [to appoint elections on October 5] was directed against us, me and Davit Berdzenishvili,” Koba Davitashvili said at a joint news conference with MP Berdzenishvili.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has confirmed that the deadline for submitting an appropriate appeal by potential Mayoral candidates expires on September 11.

“We have been deprived of even a theoretical chance to run in the local elections. This is really a very cowardly government,” MP Berdzenishvili said.

MP Davitashvili and MP Berdzenishvili also said that despite problems, their parties will still run in the local self-governance elections.

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