A prosecutor’s office in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk launched investigation into the use of “fake press accreditations” by Georgian non-registered election observers, the Ukrainian media sources reported on January 26.
“Having studied all the circumstances, all the temporary [press] accreditations, the prosecutor’s office came to a conclusion that this action was illegal,” Alexander Lukyanchenko, a mayor of Donetsk, was quoted by the Ukrainian news agencies.
After several hundred of Georgian citizens, sent to Ukraine to monitor January 17 presidential elections, failed to receive a registration from the Ukrainian Central Election Commission, they turned to local media sources to obtain their press accreditations.
Levan Tarkhnishvili, a former chairman of the Georgian Central Election Commission, who is in Ukraine and along with senior ruling party lawmakers Givi Targamadze coordinating issues related with the Georgian observers, said after the Ukrainian CEC refused to register the Georgian observers, “we decided to resort to alternative options” in order to gain access to polling stations.
“And this alternative option was to cooperate with local media sources as their freelance reporters. It is much easier way and it was done with observation of law,” Tarkhnishvili told RFE/RL Georgian service on January 18.
A Lugansk-based weekly newspaper, Molodogvardeets, provided a group of Georgian would-be observers with its press accreditations.