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Vote Count Underway in MP By-Elections
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 27 Apr.'13 / 21:19

Early results of MP by-elections in three single-mandate constituencies will be available after midnight, according to Central Election Commission chairman Zurab Kharatishvili.

By-elections were held in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi district and in Imereti region’s Bagdati and Samtredia constituencies to fill three vacant majoritarian MP seats.

177 polling stations in these three constituencies were closed at 8pm local time.

27.97% of 140,892 voters, registered in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi constituency, turned out at the polling stations, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC).

Voter turnout was 48.35% in Bagdati constituency, where 23,351 voters are registered and 43.55% in Samtredia, where 48,455 voters are registered.

“Electoral process was held mainly calmly without incidents; there were only separate technical shortcomings,” the CEC said after the polling stations were closed.

It, however, said that there was a report about a local police chief in Bagdati having contacts with members of precinct election commission No.10 in Bagdati, which required a proper investigation from law enforcement agencies because of allegations that precinct election commission members could have been “pressured” by the local police chief. Photos also emerged showing a car, allegedly of local police chief, standing outside the precinct election commission. These allegations, which were voiced by UNM, were denied by the members of the precinct election commission, as well as by the Interior Ministry.

Election observer group, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), said it verified this report, but was not able to either confirm or deny it.

ISFED said that voting in overall was held in an organized manner in observance of procedures. “Voters were able to freely express their will at ballot box,” it said

It, however, also said that the main problems were related to shortcomings in voting procedures related to mobile ballot boxes, several cases of presence of unauthorized persons at polling stations and “minor procedural violations” at the time of opening and closing of polling stations.

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