A polling station in the village of Jikhashkari of Zugdidi municipality in Samegrelo region was raided by unknown men late on Saturday night after vote count started in the October 8 parliamentary elections, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) which is monitoring the polls said.
“Unknown persons broke into Zugdidi’s precinct No.108 in the village of Jikhashkari at about 11pm, when vote tabulation and summarizing of results was underway. They threw stones and shattered windows of the polling station and broke into the precinct with use of force, scattered ballot papers and smashed election equipment,” said GYLA, whose observer was present at the polling station at the time of the incident.
GYLA said that two foreign observers from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, who were also present, were physically assaulted by the attackers.
“We call on the authorities to ensure safe environment for the electoral process,” the monitoring group said.
Another polling station in the same village was also raided after the vote count started and there was a scuffle outside one of the polling stations in Kutaisi.
UNM opposition party accused ruling GDDG party-affiliated groups of attacking the polling station, saying that the ruling party is trying to thwart vote count process at those polling stations, where it is losing.
GDDG’s chief of campaign, Kakha Kaladze, condemned the incident in the village of Jikhashkari and called on the law enforcement agencies to hold the perpetrators accountable “no matter from which political party they are.”