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Biometric IDs Argued in Election System Reform Talks
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 17 Feb.'11 / 14:12

A senior ruling party lawmaker reiterated his opposition to use of biometric identity cards in elections after a meeting of inter-party working group on election system reform on February 16.

“We’ve stressed that it is in reality impossible to use biometric IDs for election purposes; so we have offered our opponents to elaborate new method of work over [voters] list so that to eradicate problem with the voters’ list,” MP Pavle Kublashvili, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on legal affairs, told journalist.

MP Levan Vepkhvadze of Christian-Democratic Movement said that the ruling party representatives were arguing that there was not enough time till the next election to provide all the voters with IDs and on the other hand it would cost too expensive.

“Funds needed for providing voters with biometric IDs put forth by the ruling party is overinflated,” he told journalists after the meeting.  “But we think that the real problem is not funds and timeframe, but the absence of political will. If there is a political will on the part of the authorities, we hope everything will be possible to arrange.”

Davit Usupashvili, the leader of Republican Party, said that the ruling party representatives came at the meeting “with empty hands.”

“They failed to put forth any concrete proposals. They speak in general about high cost of the project, saying that because of that it’s impossible to implement… They told us that it would cost at least GEL 200 million, but they failed to provide any exact calculations based on which they claim such a high cost,” Usupashvili said. 

“At this moment we are neither too optimistic nor too pessimistic… By the end of February they should table in a written form their position on each and every issue,” he said.

Introduction of biometric technologies to identify voters on the election day so that to prevent any individual from multiple voting is part of a joint proposal by eight opposition parties presented in October.

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