CEC Chairman Echoes GD Narrative, Talks Risks for His Life

On February 26, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Giorgi Kalandarishvili, said that an unidentified assailant had allegedly attempted to harm him several days earlier. Speaking on the pro-governmental Imedi TV, Kalandarishvili echoed the ruling party’s claim that members of the opposition were allegedly trying to “get rid” of CEC Chair and seize control of the CEC, leading to the Parliament’s decision to abolish the position of Deputy Chairman in the Commission which used to be occupied by an opposition representative.

As Kalandarishvili explains, a few days ago a car in front of him tried to cause an accident on the road. When both cars stopped, someone got out of the car, opened the back door and was surprised that Kalandarishvili wasn’t sitting in the back seat and was driving the car. The head of the CEC considers this incident “provocative”.

Last week, the ruling party in response to criticism of the amendments to the Electoral Code by the opposition, CSOs, and even the Venice Commission dismissed the concerns about the amendments, saying that the Deputy Chairman of the CEC, had the same powers as the other opposition members of the CEC, with only one advantage: he/she could act as the Acting Chairman of the CEC in case the Chairman was unable to fulfill his/her duties and responsibilities.

Mamuka Mdinaradze, the parliamentary majority leader, said: “They [the opposition] have thought of a situation in which they probably know that the [CEC] Chairman will not be there and his/her duty will be performed by their fellow party member. Maybe they’re going to do something to the person who is the Chairman”. He added that the opposition has a history of “killing in the streets,” claiming that there is a possibility of a similar scenario in the future.

The Prime Minister, Irakli Kobakhidze has also reiterated GD’s point about why the post of the opposition-elected Deputy Chairman of the CEC was abolished, claiming that there was a possibility that the opposition parties were planning a way to “sabotage the CEC” by getting rid of the CEC chairman and using the opposition-elected Deputy Chairman “to take control” of the institution.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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