About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Prosecutors Probe into Reported Cases of Pressure on Candidates
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Jun.'14 / 21:59

Chief prosecutor’s office said that it launched criminal investigation into four cases of alleged pressure on opposition candidates to withdraw from the race.

In a statement on June 12, prosecutor’s office said that it looked into 80 reported cases of pressure on candidates, but in 76 cases out of 80, candidates denied that they withdrew from the race because of pressure.

There have been reports of pressure exerted on opposition candidates in more than dozen of municipalities to withdraw from the race; these candidates were mainly in the party-list, proportional contest for Sakrebulo seats in respective municipalities. Many of those reports were coming from Dmanisi in Shida Kartli region and Ninotsminda in Samtskhe-Javakheti region where UNM and Nino Burjanadze-led coalition of several non-parliamentary opposition parties were facing annulment of their entire party-lists because of failure to meet minimum number of candidates in the list after several of the candidates pulled out from the race. GD ruling coalition, which was denying allegations of pressure on candidates, called on the Central Election Commission (CEC) to amend the rule in order to prevent annulment of party lists. On June 3 CEC removed requirement of minimum number of candidates in party lists from the required criteria so that it no longer represents a reason for annulment of the entire party-lists. The move was welcomed by some election observer groups, but they also expressed regret that reported cases of pressure on candidates were not being investigated by the law enforcement agencies. 

PM Irakli Garibashvili denied that the authorities were exerting pressure on opposition candidates as is “utter lie.” Citing prosecutor’s office, the PM said on June 12 that there were only four cases in which “there were signs of certain pressure” and added he does “not rule out” that few isolated cases really took place; he suggested that even if such few cases occurred, they were done upon “own initiative” of certain individuals on the local level and not upon instructions from political leadership.

Prosecutor’s office said that in one case UNM’s candidate for a Sakrebulo seat in Ozurgeti told investigators that his nomination was just a formality and was told by his “friend”, head of UNM’s Ozurgeti branch, that he was able to withdraw from the race later.

Referring to this case, PM Garibashvili suggested that UNM “plotted in advance” this scheme of nominating such candidates in some of the municipalities who would have then withdrawn from the race voluntarily giving a pretext for accusing the authorities of exerting pressure on them. Justice Minister, Tea Tsulukiani, who chairs inter-agency commission for fair elections, also suggested that it could have been the case and called on the prosecutor’s office to find out if UNM plotted the scheme in advance to then accuse the authorities of pressure on its candidates. UNM said that accusing opposition such conspiracies is rhetoric, which is usually resorted by authoritarian leaders.

PM Garibashvili also said on June 12 that “the government is not interfering in the electoral process.”

“We are maximally open and transparent government – I think that the government is more transparent that it should be,” he said and also called on the international organizations, diplomatic corps and election monitoring groups to scrutinize every reported case of alleged pressure.

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2019, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
29