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Police Say Marneuli Ballot Stuffing Probe Underway
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 17 Jun.'14 / 14:05

Police say investigation is ongoing into reported ballot stuffing cases at two polling stations in Marneuli municipality of Kvemo Kartli region.

A video, released by the opposition UNM party, shows a man putting ballot papers with an assistance from a local precinct official in box for at least seventeen times in course of the 9-minute long video footage from precinct No.57 of Marneuli municipality.

A vote tally protocol for gamgebeli race from that precinct, which gives most of the votes to GD’s candidate, shows discrepancy as number of ballots cast exceeds number of voters who turned out at that polling station by 84. A similar discrepancy is in party-list vote tally protocol in that precinct with number of votes cast exceeding voter turnout by 83. 558 voters out of total 919 registered at that precinct turned out at the polling station on the election day.
UNM alleged that the man seen in ballot stuffing video is affiliated to the GD ruling coalition and the latter responded with similar allegation, claiming that the man is affiliated with UNM and accused the latter of “staging a provocation”.

One of UNM’s leaders and its campaign chief, Gigi Ugulava told Rustavi 2 TV that the Interior Ministry’s announcement about investigating the case is “farce” because GD’s attempt to shift blame on UNM was actually an instruction to the law enforcement agencies not to properly investigate the case.

UNM alleged that a similar case occurred at a polling station No.25 of Marneuli municipality. Vote tally protocol for gamgebeli race from that precinct has no discrepancy similar to one in precinct No.57; vote tally for party-list contest from precinct No.25 is not yet posted on election administration’s website.

On June 17 UNM also made public what it said was a copy of Marneuli District Election Commission’s decision annulling vote results at precincts No.57 and No.25. UNM MP Zurab Japaridze said that although this decision was taken, a document was not sent to the Central Election Commission because of pressure exerted by the authorities on Marneuli District Election Commission.

The Interior Ministry said that criminal investigation is ongoing under the clause dealing with rigging of election results.
The Interior Ministry also said on June 16 that police arrested two men suspected of snatching ballot papers from a polling station No.16 in the village of Doshake in Martvili municipality of Samegrelo region. It also said that several persons were arrested in connection to the incident in which a polling station No.22 in the village of Dzedziletiy of Khoni municipalitin was raided and ballot box smashed during the vote counting.

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