GEO

Fraudulent protocol decides majoritarian race in Sighnaghi, TI Georgia finds

03 October, 2012

<p>TI Georgia has found that the summary protocol of a Sighnaghi polling station (election district #13, polling station #5) which was published on October 3 on the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) website was showing different results than the copy of the final protocol obtained by a TI Georgia observer from the precinct on Election Day. The results of this station decided a very close race, awarding the district's majortiarian seat to the United National Movement's candidate.</p>
<p>According to <a href="http://results.cec.gov.ge/major/oqmi_13_5.html" target="_blank">the official CEC protocol published online</a>, Levan Bejashvili, a majoritarian candidate from the United National Movement (and former head of the Chamber of Control/State Audit Office) received 436 votes, while Gela Gelashvili from the Georgian Dream Coalition received only 146 votes. However, the summary protocol obtained by TI after the counting of votes in the station shows different results (see copies below): Levan Bejashvili received 207 votes and 377 people voted for Gela Gelashvili. Furthermore, TI Georgia’s version of the protocol is signed and stamped by the secretary of Sighnaghi’s Precinct Election Commission (PEC) whereas the protocol on the CEC’s website includes no signatures of the commission members.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p>The votes allocated to Bejashvili through what appears to be fraud have decided a very close race for the district's majortiarian seat in his favor. According to official <a href="http://www.results.cec.gov.ge/olq_13.html" target="_blank">results on the CEC website</a>, Bejashvili won the majoritarian seat with 10,124 votes, ahead of Gelashvili with 9,811 votes. Based on the protocol of station #5 TI obtained, the result would have left Bejashvili with&nbsp;9,895 votes, behind Gelashvili with 10,042 votes.&nbsp;</p>
<p>On Election Day, TI Georgia had demanded the suspension of polling process in Sighnaghi’s precinct #5 and the cancellation of polling results after observing that the PEC chairperson and the PEC's registrar of voters were violating procedures when using the seals. In addition, we found that the copy of the seal recorded in the polling day logbook was different from a seal of the registrar used during the polling process. This was because a special carve that the PEC chairperson makes on the registrar’s seal was considered too small and was later increased in size. TI Georgia complained to the district election commission about this violation but the latter did not address our complaint.</p>
<p>Below you find the summary protocols published by TI Georgia and the CEC:</p>
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TI Georgia also discovered that in Gardabani (station #16), the copy of the protocol obtained by a TI observer on election day is different from the protocol published by the CEC online, in which 4 additional votes were added to the result for the UNM's candidate.
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