Violations during the parliamentary elections
in the Republic of Georgia 1999





PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN GEORGIA (SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER, 1999)
On October 31, 1999, in Georgia will carry out new parliamentary elections. It is necessary to note, that right at the begining of pre-election campaign are fixed the significant infringements of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms: 1) On October 4, 1999, the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Georgia (Chairman - Mr. Jumber Lominadze) has decided to forbid to the citizens of Georgia to be as the international observers on parliamentary elections (No: 108/1999). On a question of the President of the National Section of Georgia of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR-IGFM): "was guided the Central Electoral Commission by the international norms during adoption of such decision or not?" the official representative of the Juridical Department of this Commission, Mrs. Lili Begiashvili has answered: "Yes, the Commission owed guided by these norms, but it was not guided." Concerning the International human Rights norms she has told, that these norms "allows the various approach". The citizens of the Republic of Georgia, which are the official representatives of the national divisions of the International Human Rights NGOs, first of all submits to the norms of the International Human Rights Law and norms of the international documents. The adoption of such decision concerning the citizens of Georgia of this category is rough infringement of the mentioned norms.
2) The pre-election campaign of Blocks and parties, on TV is covered nonuniformly and carries discrimination character: 80% of the pre-election propaganda broadcasts on TV serves to interests of the "Citizens Union of Georgia"- party of Mr. E. Shevardnadze.
3) The chairmen of the Central Election Commission and of almost all District Election Commissions (with the exception of those District Commissions, which are located in Adjara) are the representatives of the "Citizens Union".
4) In the Tsalka District Commission the representatives of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba" ("Revival of Georgia") on September 26, 1999, revealed the fact of falsification of the election documents, namely - falsification of the signatures on these documents.
5) The director of the Tbilisi secondary school No 139 compelled the passport data of the pupil's parents. The parents become victims of a psychological terror on the part of management of the school. Them have told, that if they will not give vote to the "Citizens Union", their children will be excluded from school.
6) In the 3rd microarea of the Gldani District of Tbilisi bursted the sewer pipe. The government of the Gldani District declared, that the sewer pipe will be restored in the event that the inhabitants will give votes to the "Citizens Union".
7) In Chugureti District of Tbilisi the representatives of the "Citizens Union" collected the signatures of the voters and threaten to them, that if they will not give vote for this organization, they will be expelled from work.
8) On October 6-8, 1999, the Central Election Commission abolished registration about 500 majority candidates from oppositional Blocks and parties. Thus, the norms were roughly broken because this abolishen was adopted after two days all terms were delayed. Under the decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia the registration of 109 candidates was not restored.
9) On October 6, 1999, in Tbilisi, have plundered the house of the Georgian writer and journalist, candidate in the deputies of the parliament from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba" ("Revival of Georgia"), Dr. Nodar Koberidze.
10) On October 8, 1999, in Tbilisi, two unfamilar men have rushed into the house of the Chairman of the Youth Department of the political movement "Sakartvelos Agordzinebis Kavshiri" ("Union of Revival of Georgia"), candidate in the deputies, Mr. Sandro Bregadze. They brutally have beaten the mother of Mr. Bregadze.
11) On October 9, 1999, during the pre-election meeting with the voters, in city Telavi, Mr. E. Shevardnadze has declared: "If in the new parliament the majority of places will be received other party, we shall estimate this fact, as parliamentary revolution. We not allow it and shall make everithing, that it to not allow".
12) The results of telephone sociological interrogations of the population in a direct ether of the information program "Kurieri" of the Independent Telecompany "Rustavi-2" are also remarkable:
On September 29, 1999, on a question - "Is trusted with you whether or not, what the parliamentary elections in Georgia will be fair?" answered 11700 spectators: Yes - 28%, No - 62%, I am not interested - 10%.
13) "The infringements of the election norms have mass character: the falsification of the election lists, falsification of the bulletins (under the instruction of the authorities is printed 2 mln superfluous bulletins)... The pre-election campaign passes in the very intense situation. The leaders of the opposition and candidates from the opposition pursue physically that they stopped pre-election campaign. The prosecutions have the especially expressed character in the small areas." ("Liberation", Paris, October 1, 1999).
14) On October 11, 1999, under the instruction of present authority of Georgia, at a police post in Chumateleti (East Georgia) the representatives of the local police absolutely illegally have detained propaganda buses of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba" ("Revival of Georgia").
15) On October 13, 1999, after meeting with the voters in the settlement Pirveli Khorga of the Khobi District (Western Georgia), the representatives of the "Citizens Union" ruthlessly beaten the independent candidate, President of the Shartava Fund, Mr. Badri Daraselia. Mr. Daraselia actively supported the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba". Mr. Daraselia in a heavy condition is in the Khobi regional hospital.
16) On October 15, in Kakheti (East Georgia), during meeting with the voters, under the instruction of the local organization of the "Citizens Union" were beaten the representatives of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba".
17) Chairman of the Central Election Commission, Mr. J. Lominadze received more than 1500 appeals about rough infringements during drawing up of the lists of the voters.
18) On October 12, under the instruction of the head of the Administration of the Borjomi District, in Borjomi have not let the candidates from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba". The head of the Administration of Borjomi was compelled to tell, that the administration received the instruction from the governor of the Samtskhe-Javakheti area.
19) On October 21, at an entrance in Tbilisi, the representatives of the Tbilisi road police have stopped the propaganda buses of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba". The policemen have damaged wheels of these buses. The buses were damaged by children, which worked on behalf of the unknown persons.
20) The majority of the voters of the city Poti (Western Georgia) supports the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba" - this city does not receive the electric power.
21) Under the oral instruction of the minister of a defence of Georgia, Mr. D. Tevzadze, in the military divisions of the Republic of Georgia of the military men compel to give votes to the candidates from the "Citizens Union". In default him waits the severe administrative punishment.
22) On October 18, the police of Tbilisi lawlessly has confiscated and destroyed a plenty of the pre-election propaganda posters of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba" ("Revival of Georgia"). It was declared by the representatives of this Block in Tbilisi - Mr. Melko Rostiashvili and Mr. Giorgi Sharikadze.
23) On October 21, the police of the Saburtalo District of Tbilisi illegally has detained the representative of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr. Nika Bregvadze. To him have forbidden conduct propaganda for the benefit of the specified Block.
24) On October 21, in city Zugdidi (Western Georgia) illegally was arrested the candidate from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr. Valerian Tsotseria.
25) On October 11, the representatives of the police of city Kutaisi (Western Georgia) lawlessly have arrested the Executive Secretary of the Firm "Aya", Mr. Nugzar Sakvarelidze. Mr. Sakvarelidze is the close confidant of the candidate from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", President of the specified Firm, Mr. Revaz Dvalishvili.
26) On October 5, "for infringement of rules of road movement" in Kutaisi was arrested the representative of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr. Tamaz Shatirishvili. Mr. Shatirishvili is the close confidant of the candidate from this Block, Mr.Bondo Shalikiani.
27) On October 13, the representatives of the police of Kutaisi have arrested and destroyed all circulation of the newspaper "Sakartvelos Agordzineba" ("Revival of Georgia"). They have arrested also the propaganda buses of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba".
28) On October 4, the unfamiliar persons, in the city Chiatura (Western Georgia) from the automatic weapons have opened fire to the machine, where should sit the candidate from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr. Bondo Shalikiani. Casually in this moment Mr. Shalikiani was not in the machine.
29)On October 6, in Kutaisi, the representatives of the police interrupted a concert of the known Georgian actors - Mrs. Keti Merkviladze and Mr. Zurab Doidjashvili: the sponsor of this concert was the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba".
30) In the beginning of October the Chief of the police of the Vani District (western Georgia) has exempted from the post his assistant, Mr. Tsagareishvili: Mr. Tsagareishvili is the close friend of the candidate from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr. Bezhan Khurtsidze and supporter of this Block.
31) On October 22-23 the elderly citizens of Georgia have received the letters from the president of Georgia, chairman of the "Citizens Union of Georgia", Mr. Eduard Shevardnadze. Mr. Shevardnadze promises the addressees "the light future" and calls them to give votes to the "Citizens Union".
32) The member of the "Citizens Union", former deputy of the Parliament of Georgia, Mrs. Rosa Lordkipanidze during meeting with the voters in the resort city Tskaltubo (Western Georgia) has distributed to the voters till 25 lari (1 USD=2 lari) for votes on parliamentary elections.
33) Instead of necessary 5.000.000 lari (for normal realization of parliamentary elections) the Central Election Commission received from the budget of Georgia only 2.500.000 lari.
34) To the known Georgian musician and teacher, one of the most outstanding representatives of the Human Rights movement in Georgia since 1970, candidate from the Block "Sakhalkho-Didgori", Mr. Teimuraz Janelidze refuse to give a room for the meeting with the voters of city Rustavi (East Georgia).
35) In city Vani (Western Georgia) from a post have removed the Editor-in-Chief of the local newspaper that his wife is the namesake of the candidate from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr. Bezhan Khurtsidze...
36) On October 24, in a village Velistsikhe (Kakheti, East Georgia) the representatives of the local police violently have dispersed the voters, which met with the candidate from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr. Shota Kitiashvili. The policemen beaten the driver of the propaganda bus.
37)The "Citizens Union" accepts all measures for actual submission to this Union and authority of the president Shevardnadze (chairman of this Union) maximal NGO's. For example, on September 28, 1999, right at the beginning of the pre-election campaign in Georgia, the "Citizens Union" has arranged meeting with 48 "NGO's" of Georgia. The participants of this meeting discussed questions of active cooperation of the NGO's with the "Citizens Union" and government of the country. After the specified meeting the specified "NGO's" have met with president Shevardnadze and members of the government. The representatives of these "NGO's" signed the document on active support to politics of the president. On behalf of the president in the structure of the government is created the State Coordination Council of the "NGO's" of Georgia. Today the "Citizens Union" actively uses these "NGO's" in struggle with other parties and blocks participating in the parliamentary elections.
38) On October 25, 1999, one week prior to parliamentary elections, the Central Election Commission of Georgia has lead illegal "elections" in a high-mountainous village Omalo (East Georgia). On these "elections" there were no observers, representatives of the blocks and parties (except for the representatives of the "Citizens Union") and accredited journalists. As the reason of realization of these "elections" have named "difficult meteorological condition". In time of this "elections" took place the roughest infringements: 1) according to the official statistical data, the general number of the voters in a village Omalo makes 78 men, and in the list of the voters the names of 116 voters were brought in; 2) The Mission of the OSCE and Representation of the UN in Georgia were not informed about "elections" in a village Omalo; 3) on the final act have put round seal of the Board of this village; 4) a election urn have opened on October 26. Despite of the specified roughest infr! ingements, the Central Election Commission has left valid the results of these "elections".
39) On October 12, the representatives of the police of city Kutaisi illegally have detained and offended the official propagandists of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba" - Mrs. Madona Akhvlediani and Mrs. Marina Samarguliani. The policemen ordered to the specified activists to stop propaganda pre-election activity for the benefit of the specified Block.
40) The leader of the Rustavi organization of the Block "Sakhalkho Pronti - Ilia Chavchavadzis Sazogadoeba", candidate from this Block, Mr. Guram Gogbaidze on October 26 carried out in city Rustavi (East Georgia) pre-election meeting with the voters. Suddently Mr. Gogbaidze was seized by the representatives of local police. They have delivered Mr. Gogbaidze in the Department of police of Rustavi. In some hours it have released.
41) On October 26, the Vice-president of the Central Election Commission of Georgia, Mr. Gia Zesashvili and other representatives of the specified commission expelled from a building of this commission the representatives of the Mission of the OSCE in Georgia. The members of the Commission categorically have refused to carry out the official recommendations of the OSCE Mission and rules specified in the methodical booklet of the OSCE.
42) On October 27 the Chief of the Department for Information and Public Relations of the Central Election Commission, Mrs. Nana Saneblidze has offended and with the help of police has expelled from a building of this Commission of the Member of the National Section of Georgia of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR-IGFM), Ms. Maya Imedadze. Ms. Imedadze should receive accreditation as the special correspondent of the independent newspaper "Tvaltai".
43) During performance on the 1st Channel of the Georgian TV, at the presence of the president of Georgia, the Vice-Governor of the Kakheti Area has declared, that the management of this area will not admit meeting of the oppositional blocks and parties with the voters of the Kakheti Area.
44) On October 22 have announced the protest hunger-strike the candidate from the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr. Valeri Tsotseria and members of the Union of Revival of Georgia - Mr. Tengiz Kharchilava and Mr. Alexander Jikia. They were illegally arrested in Zugdidi, during pre-election propaganda among the population. According to the Law of Georgia on elections of the parliament of Georgia candidates in the deputies of the parliament during pre-election campaign and elections are inviolable. Now the specified persons are in the Isolator No: 4 of Zugdidi.
45) On October 20, for pre-election propaganda for the benefit of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba" in Zugdidi illegally arrested the member of the Union of Revival of Georgia, Mr. Igor Tolordava. Mr. Tolordava is in the Isolator No: 4 of Zugdidi.
46) The requirements of the Law of Georgia about elections of the parliament of Georgia and International Norms by a management of the ministry of a defence of Georgia are roughly broken. In the military divisions of Georgia do not suppose the international and local observers, accredited journalists, official representatives of the blocks and parties.
47) In those election districts, where the management of Election Commissions completely is carried out by the representatives of the "Citizens Union", till the 31st October in the election districts do not suppose the international and local observers, official representatives of the blocks and parties and accredited journalists. For example, such districts in the Sagarejo Area (East Georgia) are the election districts No: 9 and No: 11.
48) On October 28 the unfamiliar persons from the automatic weapon have wounded the independent candidate in Kutaisi, Mr. Shota Sakhundadze. Mr. Sakhundadze was the member of the "Citizens Union", but 8 months ago in a mark of the protest he has left this party.
49) On October 29, during pre-election meetings with the voters in the villages of the Sagarejo Area the unfamiliar persons have damaged the propaganda bus of the Regional Staff of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba". As a result of this gangster attack some representatives of the specified Block and the driver of the propaganda bus have suffered.
50) The minister of the internal affairs of Georgia, Mr. Kakha Targamadze and deputy minister, Mr. Jemal Mikeladze issued an oral order at the meeting of the Ministry Board on October 29, 1999, according to which all operational and administrative agencies under the command of the ministry should form special groups and attach them to each particular polling station in order to conduct "agitation" in favour of the ruling party (the "Citizens' Union") on the spot. The Ministry Board also appointed the staff and sheduled the work of the above-mentioned groups. However, the population of the Republic of Georgia remembers very well what is meant under the word "agitation" when it is conducted by the forces of the ministry of the internal affairs.

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN GEORGIA (OCTOBER 31, 1999)
The parliamentary elections of October 31, 1999 have passed by significant and mass infringements of international norms. It is necessary to note, that the fruitful ground for violations is the Law of Georgia about elections of the parliament of Georgia. On November 1, 1999, on a Press conference, the International Observers of the Council of Europe have declared, that the specified law does not meet to the international norms and requirements of the Council of Europe.
About significant and mass infringements fixed during parliamentary elections in Georgia, it is necessary to note the following:
1) The roughest violations have passed in a village Omalo of the Akhmeta District on October 25, 1999. About this illegal "elections" we already spoke in the review of pre-election campaign of this report.
2) 1/3 of voters of Georgia not received the official notice on parliamentary elections.
3) In many election districts the representatives of the "Citizens' Union" order active propaganda for the benefit of this party. For example, the similar facts are fixed in the election districts of the Aspindza area, the Vake area of Tbilisi, the Didube area of Tbilisi, the Ambrolauri area, the Marneuli area, the Kutaisi area, the Poti area, the Mtatsminda area of Tbilisi.
4) In many election districts did not admit the representatives of the oppositional blocks and parties, international and local observers and accredited journalists. The similar violations are fixed in the election districts of the Mtatsminda area of Tbilisi, the Isani area of Tbilisi, the Vake area of Tbilisi, the Bolnisi area, the Tetritskaro area, the Gardabani area, the Rustavi area, the Sagarejo area, the Senaki area, the Kutaisi area, the Tkibuli area, the Zugdidi area, the Marneuli area, the Aspindza area.
5) In many election districts there were armed policemen, which compelled the voters to give votes for the "Citizens' Union". Such infringements were fixed in the election districts of the Rustavi area, the Sagarejo area, the Gori area, the Tkibuli area, the Aspindza area, the Borjomi area, the Ozurgeti area, the Zugdidi area, the Terjola area.
6) In many election districts the attempts took place to let in the election urns the false bulletins. Such violations are fixed in the election districts of the Rustavi area, the Isani area of Tbilisi, the Vake area of Tbilisi, the Gori area, the Gurjaani area, the Terjola area, the Zugdidi area, the Tkibuli area, the Chkhorotskhu area.
7) In many election districts the portable election urns transfered police without support of the observers. Such infringements are fixed in the election districts of the Aspindza area, the Ozurgeti area, the Zugdidi area, the Martvili area, the Samtredia area.

Dr. Levan Z. Urushadze, President of the National Section of Georgia of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR-IGFM), Co-Chairman of the International Association "CAUCASUS: Ethnic Relations, Human Rights, Geopolitics" (IACERHRG). E-mail: lur@lycosmail.com, igfmgeorgia@lycosmail.com