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Polls Close in Sagarejo, Martvili MP By-Elections
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 31 Oct.'15 / 20:58

Vote count began after polling stations closed on Saturday evening in MP by-elections in Sagarejo and Martvili single-mandate constituencies, held to fill two vacant majoritarian seats in the Parliament.

34.43% of voters cast ballot in Sagarejo, municipality in Kakheti region in eastern Georgia, and the voter turnout was 40% in Martvili, municipality in western Georgian region of Samegrelo.
 
No minimum turnout threshold is set for the polls to be valid.

Georgian Dream ruling coalition’s candidate from the Republican Party Tamar Khidasheli and one of the leaders of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia Irma Inashvili are the main contenders in Sagarejo race, which also includes three independent candidates.

There were only two candidates in Martvili constituency– GD’s Soso Danelia and Alliance of Patriots’ Eter Medzvelia.

Most of the opposition parties announced about boycotting MP by-elections in both of the constituencies in August.

A candidate winning more votes than others, but not less than 30% will be declared an outright winner of the race without requiring second round runoff.

An election monitoring group, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), said after the polls were closed that the voting in the polling stations was held in “calm environment” and in compliance of the legislation.

“There were mostly procedural violations, most of them addressed in a short time,” ISFED said.

A scuffle was reported outside one of the polling stations in the village of Giorgitsminda in Sagarejo. Observers from a monitoring group, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, reported that about seven persons, supporters of GD and Alliance of Patriots’ candidates, were involved in the scuffle.   

Alliance of Patriots has accused the Georgian Dream of misusing administrative resources in favor of its candidates in Sagarejo and Martvili; GD candidate’s campaign teams have denied allegations and accused opponents of trying to cause a stir by leveling groundless allegations.

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC) 12 complaints over procedural violations have been filed with the district election commission in Martvili and 4 complaints in Sagarejo.

“Those complaints are about minor procedural violations and the respective district election commissions have already reacted on most of them,” CEC spokesperson, Ana Mikeladze, said after the polls were closed.

Also on October 31 by-elections were held in Dmanisi, Vani, Khobi and Sagarejo to fill vacant seats in local councils (Sakrebulo) of these municipalities.

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