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Official Warns against Rallies Outside Polling Stations

Calls for the mobilization of opposition activists outside polling stations on election day will increase the risk of “unrest, destabilization and provocations,” State Minister Davit Bakradze, a Saakashvili re-election campaign spokesman, has warned.

Koba Davitashvili, leader of Party of People, which is part of the nine-party opposition coalition backing Levan Gachechiladze’s presidential bid, said on December 29 that opposition supporters would gather at polling stations to, as he put it, protect votes.

“There is no need for that,” Bakradze said at a press conference on January 2. ”I want to remind you that the opposition parties have six representatives in the election commissions. Moreover, there will be the representatives of each presidential candidate and both local and international observers [at the polling stations]. So mobilization of people outside polling stations will not facilitate transparency of elections.”

“The presence of politically-motivated people close to the polling stations would create discomfort to voters… So we call on our opponents to give up such plans; we are ready to negotiate with them and agree on the rules of the game in order to secure a calm atmosphere on January 5.”


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