Progress in the presidential election in Georgia
-We can report only minor irregularities here in the Batumi area, and for what we have witnessed, the elections process this time is a big step forward for Georgia compared to what we have seen in previous elections. NHCs Aage Borchgrevink is in Georgia together with colleagues to observe the presidential elections in Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsike and Batumi. Even though we are aware of irregularities, compared to previous years, people are not put under pressure, they are more open and they went to vote in a calm manner, Borchgrevink says.
Tblisi 28 Pctober 2013: The Georgian Central Election Commission has declared that according to preliminary results, Giorgi Margvelashvili has won by 62% of the vote. Margvelashvili represented Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s party Georgian Dream. The Rose Revolution’s former hero and incumbent president Mikhail Saakashvili could not run for a third term, and Davit Bakradze, the candidate of the United National Movement of outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili, has won only 22 percent of the votes counted so far.
ISFED, Georgia’s well known election monitoring NGO deployed 1200 observers to monitor the election day and in a statement said that “we may conclude that the voting process was mostly conducted in a calm and peaceful environment. In most of the polling stations, the voting process took place as stipulated in the law. Voting without proper documentation, breaching of inking procedures and issues with voters lists in Batumi can be named as the major drawbacks of the day. As of now, ISFED observers have filed 12 complaints to the precinct election commissions, and 45 complaints to the district election commissions." ISFED has previsouly presented reports on the pre-election period, recording a number of violations of the election legislation during the election campaign." ISFED is a member of European Platform for Democratic Elections, EPDE, a network who observed the 2013 Norwegian Parliamentary elections after an invitation from the NHC.
In an interview Borchgrevink made to Caucasian Knot, the well-known news web-site of the Caucasus region, he made a comparison to a violent incident that happened during presidential elections four years ago. The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs blamed the Abkhaz side, with Russian support, for an act of terrorism. At the time, NHC observers came quickly to the scene and issued a report strongly contesting the official version. This month, two former Georgian officials were arrested, accused of terrorism, confirming NHCs version of the events.
Photos: Caucasian Knot