‘Motherly Care’ for Son in Elections

A video depicting two precinct election commission members in the village of Koki in Zugdidi municipality, showing to a colleague their marked ballot papers before casting them in a box in the June 15 local elections is having repercussions for Georgian Dream ruling coalition’s Tbilisi mayoral candidate Davit Narmania.

The episode from the small village with 643 registered voters, among them local precinct officials, in the Samegrelo region could have gone largely unnoticed had it not been for the fact that the precinct election commission member checking two of her colleagues’ ballots was mother of Tbilisi mayoral candidate Davit Narmania.

After one member of precinct shows her ballot to Nora Narmania, apparently to demonstrate that GD was marked in the ballot, one member of the precinct tells her that it’s not permitted by the law. Some election observer groups said the case involved violation of right to a secret ballot.

The video was released on June 19 by opposition United National Movement party, whose Tbilisi mayoral candidate Nika Melia will face Narmania in the runoff election after the latter fell short of 50% mark in first round on June 15. Narmania garnered 46.09% and Melia – 27.97% of votes.

Commenting on the issue on June 20, Narmania said that her mother’s action was motivated by “motherly care”, which had nothing to do with violation of law.

“That isolated action by her is an issue related only to motherly care and I am sure that there is no violation of law or a wrongdoing of any kind,” Narmania said.

District Election Commission of Zugdidi municipality discussed the matter at a session on June 20 and decided to take a disciplinary action in a form of issuing warning to Nora Narmania and some other members of the precinct No.97 in Zugdidi municipality.

In party-list, proportional contest and for the race of Zugdidi municipality gamgebeli, GD garnered more votes than UNM in that precinct No.97; but UNM’s candidate received slightly more votes in the race for majoritarian, single-mandate seat for Sakrebulo.


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