Parliamentary Elections -- Liveblog

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TI Georgia Staff

Watch this page for the latest updates from our mission observing Georgia's 2012 Parliamentary Elections. We'll post the latest updates at the top of this page.

Oct 2, 16:00: President Mikheil Saakahsvili has conceded the defeat of this ruling United National Movement Party in the October 1 parliamentary elections and ancounced that the UNM would move to the opposition. Here is an English translation of the President's televised statement

Dear fellow countrymen,after the tallying of the preliminary results of the parliamentary election, it is clear that the Georgian Dream coalition won a majority in this election.

This means that the parliamentary majority must now assemble a new government and I, as president, in accordance with the constitution, will facilitate the process of parliament beginning its work and ensure that parliament is able to select a parliament speaker and, also, assemble a new government.

You know well that for us - for me - the views of this coalition were - and are - fundamentally unacceptable. There are very deep differences between us and we believe that their views are extremely mistaken, but democracy works in such a way that the majority of the Georgian people takes the decision and this is what we of course respect very much.

At the same time, as the leader of the National Movement, I want to say that the National Movement is going into opposition. The achievements of the past eight years, of the [2003] rose revolution [which brought Saakashvili to power], are very important not only for Georgia's history - this has been one of the most important periods in Georgians many-centuries-long history - but also these achievements have made Georgia a country of key importance for the rest of the world.
So I am deeply convinced that, ultimately, no matter what threats arise to these achievements in the coming months and years, it will be impossible to erase them. So we, as an opposition force, will fight for our country's future, we will fight to ensure that everything that has been created in recent years - in terms of fighting against corruption, fighting against crime, modernizing Georgia and building new institutions - will be protected to the maximum degree, that [these achievements] will be saved for future generations and that we will manage to ensure the continuation of all constitutional and political processes in Georgia.
Of course I express my respect to the decision of the majority of those who voted in the election, but at the same time I thank the large number of supporters who expressed support for the government's course, for the president's course, and I am sure that, in the future, there will be no alternative to progress and to Georgia's development and that we will all continue our battle imbued with this faith regardless of the nature of today's challenges.

 

Oct 2, 4:20 AM: Jumpstart's mapping of CEC data

Oct 2, 4:15 AM: Civil.ge has a story about the incidents in Khashuri, so far there is no response from the CEC and a denial of any use of weapons by the Ministry of Interior.

Oct 2, 4:00 AM: The CEC has released some first, partial results, including data from only about 5% of all polling stations, with the United National Movement at 44% and Georgian Dream at 51.6% of the proportional vote; the data indicates that no other party is passing the 5% threashold, based on proportional results. 

Oct 2, 0:45 AM: Our team in Khashuri reports that station 46 has been taken over by armed special forces who kicked out our observers after the counting was finished. At this point, the Georgian Dream was winning the precinct, but the protocol was not filled out yet. Special ops went in and finished the job. After the protocol was finalized, UNM won the station. Unconfirmed reports suggest that three other stations (5, 10, 45) were subject to raids. 

Maestro reports live from Khashuri that masked armed people entered polling station 10. people say they saw lots of special units

8:50 PM: This PDF file provides a breakdown of the initial exit polling broadcast on Georgian television after 8:00PM.

3:40 PM: This dispatch from our own Mark Mullen, listing the observers and media present at one Tbilisi polling station, shows how heavily observed these elections are:

At Old Tbilisi Precinct One:
 
Georgian Dream
National Movement
 
Caucasian Dialogue Center
Internet Television ITV
Society for Democracy and Legal Development
Former Political Prisoners
Women and Change (two)
Voters League 
Free Development and Defenders of Rights
Institute Working on the Problems of Minorities and Refugees
Association of Women and Choice
Research Center for the Electoral System
 
And my personal favorite:
Strategic Research Center for Territorial and Administrative Arrangement of the State.

2:45 PM: Our observers reported the following serious incidents affecting the voting process during the period 11:00 - 14:00:

  1. In Batumi, precinct #17, four people could not vote because somebody else signed their name in the voter list.
  2. In Martvili, precinct #3, unknown people stole the voter lists meant for use with a mobile ballot box.
  3. In Dusheti, precinct #25, there were no voter lists available for precinct registrars, and they were forced to use the lists meant for the public to use to verify their own information.
  4. In Gardabani, precinct #27, some people were asking registrars whom to vote for and registrars told them to circle number 5.
  5. In Sighnaghi, precincts #28 and #29, a member of the election committee, Vano Petriashvili, did not allow journalists to make video recordings inside the polling station. Afterward, military police members came to that precinct and voted.
  6. In Chiatura, precinct #57, they received a seal for precinct #32 instead and are waiting for a replacement seal.

Transparency International Georgia's observers have submitted 22 complaints to electoral commissions so far.

9:25 AM: TI Georgia has deployed 301 local, stationary observers in precincts and 36 mobile teams with international observers accross the country. Our election observation efforts are made possible by the hard work of many volunteers and financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). 

9:00 AM: Voting started at 8:00AM across Georgia. TI Georgia's observers report that all observed precincts opened on time. We have observed several violations so far; the most serious violation, which was observed in numerous precincts, was that there were often not as many ballot papers available at the station as the number of voters in that precinct.