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Saakashvili, Patarkatsishvili should be Banned from Race, Watchdog

Presidential candidates Mikheil Saakashvili and Badri Patarkatsishvili have violated the election code and should be disqualified from the race, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) said on December 20.

The group, which has been monitoring the various electoral campaigns, has asked Tbilisi City Court to strip both Saakashvili and Patarkatsishvili of their presidential candidacy status, citing alleged bribery of voters.

GYLA said that Saakashvili had violated the law at least twice – once on December 8 when he gave a computer to a teenager and the second time was when his re-election campaign headquarters printed 250,000 campaign leaflets, each one containing three free tickets to an amusement park in Adjara.

Patarkatsishvili, GYLA said, had violated the election code with promises to spend GEL 1.5 billion of his own money on paying a portion of people’s electricity and gas bills and on financial allowances for unemployed people, if elected.

Article 73 of the election code reads that it is prohibited in an election campaign for candidates or “their representatives to personally, or through someone else, transfer to voters monetary funds, gifts and other items of material value, to sell them goods at discounted prices, to supply or disseminate free-of-charge any goods (except for agitation materials envisaged by this Law), as well as to raise the interest of voters by promising to transfer them money, securities and other items of material value.”


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