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Preparation for falsifications2010-05-26 23:39
Georgian government is eager to show that local election will be most democratic signing a Code of Ethics that however stipulates no sanctions for its violation for this honesty show. There is a video rotated on TV featuring PM full of threats against all candidates that cheat. In the meantime OSCE monitors have registered a series of impingements on rights of the ruling party's opponents, and the opposition continues to disclose new methods of illegal campaigning and falsification.
The government launches a new PR move: every hour Georgia's PM Nika Gilauri calls Georgian population to ensure fair election on three top TV channels. The government tries to show they won't put up with state officials trying to put pressure. At least, this is what Niko Mchedlishvili, press secretary of the head of government said explaining the purpose of this TV agitprop.
The video features Gilauri enumerating violations for which state officials can be subject to punishment. This is urging opposition to withdraw from election, offering remuneration to voters, threatening of check-up to reveal voting preferences, pressure on employees from employers, claim to release imprisoned relatives, falsification of election results.
In an ideally democratic state all transgressions above must really be suppressed by the authorities. And there must be laws to guarantee that, not a personal promise of a high-ranking official. Besides, how can this video be trusted if real facts speak for themselves?
Recently OSCE observation mission published the second pre-election report pointing to violations at the time of election race. On the whole the mission considers the situation calm highlighting skepticism of both voters and politicians, Civil.ge reports.
The following precedents included in the report challenge fairness of elections. Among them are threats of job loss for those who disagree with the ruling party's policies, campaigning officials that pretend to carry out their duty, unequal use of administrative resource.
The report refers to Zaza Gorozia, the governor of Samegrelo - Zemo Svaneti, whose team put pressure on Freedom party candidates in order to make them withdraw from elections in Mestia.
The report also points to close liaison between the ruling party and local authorities makes it a difficult task to distinguish campaigning from discharge of official duty. Though many state officials from the list of candidates are on vacation, they are more frequently seen on TV - unlike opposition.