PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA - 2000
(Report of the National Section of Georgia of the International Society for
I) THE PRESIDENTIAL PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN
pre-election campaign in Georgia proceeded with many violations. On March 28,
2000, in Zugdidi (West Georgia) the activists of the "Citizen's Union" (E.
Shevardnadze's party) pelt with stones the participants of the pre-election
meeting with the Presidential candidate, Mr. Jumber Patiashvili. Before this,
the pre-election journey of J. Patiashvili in Kakheti (East Georgia) was also
marked by rough violations by the "Citizen's Union" and the local authority.
They didn't permit Mr. Patiashvili to meet with the villagers. Moreover, the
front wheels of his car were made an incision which resulted in a car accident.
This fact was mentioned by the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Ajarian
Autonomous Republic, the leader of the Block "Sakartvelos Agordzineba", Mr.
Aslan Abashidze on March 27, in his Batumi press-conference. The analogous
violations were marked in the begining of March in Bolnisi where the
participants of the pre-election meeting with Mr. Patiashvili were pelt with
rotten eggs by instructions of the "Citizen's Union".
During the pre-election
campaign E. Shevardnadze publicly declared (without any sign of humor), that "if
Shevardnadze will not be elected, it will be a crime..." (TV schedule "Night's
courier", Tbilisi, March 25). The chairman of the Georgian Parliament, Mr. Zurab
Zhvania talked about this also ("Night's courier", March 30).
of equality of rights of the Presidential candidates is roughly violated. E.
Shevardnadze broadly profits by the preferences of his acting presidency. As the
clear examples it is enough to mention the recent visits in Tbilisi of the
Federal Chancellor of Germany and Ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany and
their public declarations for Shevardnadze's favour. As well it may be said
about visits in Georgia of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. All it
gives obvious a nonequal situation for the Presidential candidates.
30, 2000, in Vani (West Georgia) the posters of the Presidential candidate, Mr.
J. Patiashvili were removed on the order of the "Citizen's Union".
30, 2000, the Central Election Commission of Georgia (Chairman - Mr. J.
Lominadze) refused to register the members of the National Section of Georgia of
the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) as the local observers on the
Presidential elections because this Human Rights NGO "was registered later than
the settled date, January, 1998". The National Section of Georgia of the ISHR
was founded in December, 1998, by decision of the International Secretariat of
the ISHR. Of course it couldn't be registered in Georgia before January, 1998.
The National Section of Georgia of the ISHR responsible declares such completely
artificial limitation was the rough violation of the International
The Central Election Commission explicitly refused to mark the
voters and to replace wooden ballot-boxes by the transparents.
Election Commission decided that for voting the next identity cards will be
presented on the Presidential Elections in April, 9, 2000: the passport of the
Republic of Georgia, the passport of the former USSR, the certificates of
refugee, pensioner or driver's license.
The April, 8, showed us the apogee of
the Presidential pre-election campaign - the truncheon of the police diligently
"decorated" many young people who came from the concert at the Tbilisi
Sportpalace to the hospital. It wasn't a usual concert. It was the pay for their
good behaviour. Two days before they took part in so-called "noughty elections"
where they "elected the future". The half of the ballot-paper was a free ticket
to the concert but about 25.000 young people (mainly the students of the Tbilisi
and Kutaisi State Universities) couldn't lodge in the palace where the placards
"we elect the future" were substituted for "we elect Shevardnadze". It was the
violation of the Election Law: before the elections day doesn't permit to
agitate for the candidate. But it was also a good lesson for the activists of
the "Young Citizen's Union", the straight heir of the soviet Komsomol - "Young
Communist League". Shevardnadze, who came to the concert, soon went away because
it was heard abusive noise. After his leaving the bottles flighted to the scene.
The Concert was broken down but the police was very active. They persued the
"happy" young electors even on the street. The foto-correspondent of the
newspaper "Kviris Palitra", Mr. Giorgi Abdaladze got concussion of the brain and
his camera was trampled by the colonel of police. Indeed that was apogee not
only the Presidential pre-election campaign but the democracy in
II) THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS - APRIL, 9, 2000
violations also took place during the poll. There are some clear examples:
In the No 5 Polling Station of the Senaki Election District the representative
of the "Citizen's Union" threw the 500 ballot-papers in the ballot-box what was
fixed by the members of the Commission;
2) The Presidential candidate Mr.
Jumber Patiashvili's representatives didn't receive to acquaintance the total
minutes in the Polling Stations of the Tbilisi Saburtalo Election District. The
minutes were sent on to the District Commission without signatures of the
representatives of Mr. Patiashvili;
3) In the Gomareti Polling Station of the
Tetri Tskaro Election District was fixed that Mr. Patiashvili polled 100 votes
more than Mr. Shevardnadze. The representatives of Mr. Patiashvili couldn't
become acquainted with the total minutes, which then was sent on to the District
Commission with the false data;
4) The Central Election Commission announced
the fantastic number of voters in Georgia: 3,2 millions (the total number of the
population of Georgia equal about 5 millions minus about 1 million who have left
the country in 1993-1999 because of a miserable standard of living);
April, 9, at 18.30 o'clock, in the Ajarian Autonomous Republic were polled only
11% of voters. At 20.00 o'clock the TV schedule "Rustavi 2" and the first
channel declared surprising number of voters - "more than 70%";
6) In the No
4 Polling Station of the Tbilisi Nadzaladevi Election district the
representatives of Mr. Patiashvili's Staff fixed the polls of the assumed
7) In all Election Districts of Tbilisi were fixed the polls of the
8) In the No 2-4 Polling Stations of the Kaspi Election District were
many violations of the local authorities and police. The observers were banished
out of these polling stations;
9) In the No 8, 19, 20, 25 Polling Stations of
the Tbilisi Saburtalo Election District were fixed at 500 false ballot-papers
10) In all Poling Stations of the Tbilisi Nadzaladevi and Mtatsminda
Election Districts were fixed many plural votes;
11) In the Martkopi Polling
Station of the Gardabani Election District the chairman of the Commission handed
voters in good time prepared ballot-papers;
12) In the Tbilisi Election
Districts the observers were not accompanied the portable ballot-boxes;
The representatives of the oppositional parties and observers were banished from
all Polling stations of the Vani Election District;
14) The observers were
banished from all Polling Stations of the Abasha Election District;
observer from the OSCE was ordered to leave a polling booth in the city of
16) Some of the 150 observers from the OSCE reported violations,
including stuffing of ballot-boxes, tampering with ballot-papers, police in
polling places and election observers denied access.
THE COUNCIL OF THE
NATIONAL SECTION OF GEORGIA OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Dr. Levan Z.
G.Tsabadze Street 3-32,
Tel/Fax: (+995 32) 348651