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Watchdog Notes Discrepancies in Vote Summary Protocols

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), an organisation overseeing the pre and post-election periods and Election Day itself, has suggested that some vote summary tallies have been falsified – an allegation already made by the opposition.

“We have copies of vote summary protocols obtained officially by our observers in precincts and we have noted discrepancies between these protocols and those that have been submitted to the District Election Commissions,” Giorgi Chkheidze, head of GYLA, said.

GYLA, which fielded 400 election observers in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Khelvachauri, has filed up to 230 complaints with the election administrations. Chkheidze said that District Election Commissions were ignoring them without even considering them.

Unlike its post-election assessment, GYLA has been generally positive in its comments on polling day itself. Despite some procedural violations on election day, in general the polls were held without any “mass violations,”Chkheidze said on January 7. “So we can say that the election was held properly and is valid.”

The assessment was welcomed by incumbent candidate Mikheil Saakashvili, who said in a televised interview on January 8 that “even GYLA, which everyone knows is affiliated with the [opposition] Republican Party, has given a positive assessment.”


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