GYLA Releases Interim Report on October Elections

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), a local watchdog, released an interim report on the October 31 parliamentary elections, identifying violations such as 5 cases of alleged vote-buying, six cases of violence, and five cases of alleged ignoring the requirement to separate the state and political parties in the period of June 1 – August 31. 

The report, based on monitoring conducted by GYLA’s long-term observation mission, includes violations and negative practices perpetrated by both, the ruling party and the opposition. 

The watchdog identified cases of alleged vote-buying in favor of the Georgian Dream, Lelo for Georgia, and the Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots. The report noted that a charity organization, Movement for the Future, which is “publicly affiliated” with Lelo,  provided assistance to IDPs, while the Georgian Dream provided free medical examinations in Senaki and distributed vegetables for free in Kobuleti. Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots, on the other hand, distributed food to Batumi Theater. 

GYLA also identified various violent incidents against political parties, including an attack on the party Movement for the People and its leader Ana Dolidze on August 13 and June 26 raid on a United National Movement office in Gori, resulting in damaged property. 

The CSO also claimed that, regarding the COVID-19 anti-crisis plan, the government has “failed” to “draw a clear line between the state’s support and party initiatives when communicating with the public,” and to “assure the public that steps taken by the government during the pre-election period are a part of a long-term anti-crisis plan rather than manipulation aimed at winning the hearts of the electorate.” Other alleged cases of ignoring the requirement to separate the state and the ruling party include increased funding for cancer treatment and the medical debt write-off by the Ministry of Defense, the watchdog noted.

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