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CEC: Voter Turnout in Runoffs 15.09% at Noon
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Jul.'14 / 12:57

258,789 voters, accounting for 15.09% of total number of voters registered in those constituencies where second round of local elections are held on Saturday, turned out at polling station as of noon, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC).

Voter turnout as of noon in the first round of local elections on June 15 was 16.65%.

Total of 1,715,514 voters are registered in those constituencies, among them Tbilisi, where the second round of elections are held.

According to CEC, voter turnout in the capital city Tbilisi was 14.7% as of noon, higher than it was recorded by the noon in the first round (12.8%). 

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), which has the largest observation mission, reported that the most serious violation as of morning took place at the polling station No.36 of Khulo municipality, involving ballot-stuffing, when chairman of precinct election commission, according to the observer organization, put three ballots into the ballot box. CEC said it is studying the reported violation.

In comments to journalists after casting ballot in Tbilisi, President Giorgi Margvelashvili focused on importance of local-self governance and called for high voter turnout.

“By going to polling station we serve not to politicians but to our homeland,” President Margvelashvili said. “We hire politicians to serve us; therefore I call on everyone to be maximally active.”

PM Irakli Garibashvili, who is leader of the ruling GD coalition, told journalist after casting ballot: “It does not matter who wins – although we are leading everywhere and we have won [in the first round on June 15] everywhere, elections will be concluded today and we will learn final results. The most important is that our country has won.” 

“As far as my choice is concerned, of course, I voted for the development of my country, for peace and stability and what is the most important, I voted for putting an end once and for all to sabotage, cohabitation and anti-state actions in Georgia. This is most important for me. We should get united to develop and strengthen our country together… Each citizen should realize that each ballot is very important for us,” the PM said and called for a high voter turnout.

UNM’s Tbilisi mayoral candidate, Nika Melia, told journalists after casting ballot, that electoral campaign was far from being free and fair and noted arrest of UNM’s chief of campaign and ex-mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava; he said that the only reason why Ugulava was arrested was to undermine UNM’s campaign ahead of the second round of local elections.

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