On September 2, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) addressed Central Election Commission (CEC) regarding six campaign clips posted on Kremlin-friendly opposition party Alliance of Patriots’ Facebook page. According to the local watchdog, the videos contain anti-Turkish proclamations aimed at fueling hostile attitudes towards Turkey, the content may also provoke ethnic and religious hostilities.
According to ISFED, each video clip is accompanied by a slogan: “Defend Adjara, defend your part of Georgia,” while the party leader proclaims: “Defend your part of Georgia. You can do it. We should act and not concede Adjara to Turkey.”
The watchdog assesses the cost of advertising to be in the range of USD 100-200, with a potential reach of more than a million voting-age Facebook users.
The CSO is concerned with the campaign clips, especially in light of the recent controversy regarding anti-Turkish election campaign banners, which were removed after facing a widespread backlash.
The watchdog argues that the Kremlin-friendly opposition party’s campaign clips are in breach of Article 45 of the Election Code of Georgia. ISFED states that CEC should take the issue to the court and also call on the party to remove the video clips.
If found in violation of the Election Code of Georgia, the Alliance of Patriots party will face a fine of GEL 2000.
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