Vote count is underway after polls closed in repeat elections in Marneuli election district’s No.48 precinct, as well as in Zugdidi election district’s three precincts – No.38, No.79, and No.108 on October 22.
The elections were held in a calm atmosphere, according to the Central Election Commission.
As of 8pm, 53.3% of voters turned out at Marneuli election district’s No.48 precinct, where 1 436 voters are registered and 51.6% of voters cast their ballots in Zugdidi election district’s three precincts, where a total of 2 844 voters are registered.
The results of these four precincts were annulled by election administration after some violations took place there during the October 8 parliamentary elections.
Voting in the October 8 parliamentary elections was disrupted by a violent incident at the precinct No.48 in Marneuli municipality’s village of Kizilajlo after opposition supporters tried to storm the polling station. Six men were arrested and sent to pretrial detention in connection to the incident.
Two polling stations in Zugdidi municipality – No.79 and No.108, in the village of Jikhashkari were raided and polling materials destroyed during the vote counting on the night of October 8. Two men were arrested in connection to these incidents; one of them, supporter of the GDDG ruling party, was sent to pretrial detention.
Georgia’s election monitoring non-governmental organizations, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) and Georgian Young Lawyers Association said that the voting in all precincts was held in a calm atmosphere and no important violations were observed. They said that some procedural violations were reported that could not have a substantial influence on the results.
Outcome of these repeat elections will decide whether the second round contest for majoritarian MP seats will be required in Marneuli and Zugdidi single-mandate constituencies, like in those 48 districts out of total 73, where second round runoffs will be held on October 30. A candidate has to clear 50% threshold to win outright in the first round. Candidates from GDDG ruling party are winning outright in the first round in 23 single-mandate constituencies.
Before opening the polls for repeat elections, UNM’s majoritarian MP candidate Akmamed Imamquliyev was leading the race in Marneuli over his closest competitor, GDDG’s Tamaz Naveriani, with 47.91% to 43.41% of votes. Imamquliyev, according to preliminary results, had a lead by a margin of 907 votes.
Georgia’s ex-first lady Sandra Roelofs of UNM and GDDG’s Edisher Toloraia were the main contenders in Zugdidi election district with the latter leading the race with 47.37% to 45.71% by a margin of 372 votes.
Invalidating of the three precincts in Zugdidi also required repeat local by-election there for gamgebeli on October 22, which should decide whether there will be an outright winner or the race will go into second round.