Use of Administrative Resources for Election Campaign in Georgia - 2nd Report
The second interim report on monitoring the use of administrative resources for election campaign covers the period of time between 15 March and 5 May 2010 and focuses on the four main types of administrative resources: coercive, financial, material‐technical and human. The analysis shows that there have, so far, been fewer violations during the campaign for the 30 May local elections than was the case during the 2008 early presidential and parliamentary ballots. However, the general picture is still far from positive.
The instances of pressure on voters and opposition activists are the most alarming matter. These types of incidents are more common in the regions. Specifically, opposition party candidates have been forced to withdraw from the elections, public officers have been required to attend the ruling party’s campaign events, while the campaign activities of opposition parties have been obstructed.
On 3 May, the Samegrelo‐Zemo Svaneti governor, the Military Police chief, a high‐ranking officer from the Kodori police department, the Mestia majoritarian MP, the head of Mestia administration, the Financial Police regional chief and other representatives of the authorities, who were accompanied by some 50 armed people, summoned the Freedom Party’s candidates (both majoritarian and those from the party list) to the administration building between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. and forced them to withdraw from the elections. Four people wrote withdrawal statements the same night. In Qvareli District, following the pressure by the head of district administration and the police chief, the National Council’s candidates for the membership of the Akhalsopeli and Mtisdziri councils pulled out of the race. Shota Kavtarashvili, head of the Akhmeta district chapter for the Movement for Fair Georgia, was instructed by the council chairman and the district administration’s representative in the Duisi village to give up political activities and leave the “Noghaideli party”. They visited Kavtarashvili at home and threatened him for 30 minutes, as a result of which Kavtarashvili required urgent medical attention.
In the Kviani village of Lanchkhuti District and the Alvani village of Qvareli District, the high school 12th‐graders who are eligible to vote have been warned that they will be drafted into the army before being admitted to universities if they fail to vote for the ruling party. In Ozurgeti, minibuses were not allowed to travel to and from the villages on the governor’s and the Guria police chief’s orders when the National Council leaders visited the district on 24 March.