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National Council suing Sports Palace

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, March 26
The National Council brought an action against the Sports Palace on March 25, accusing it of violating its election campaigning rights. The Central Election Commission (CEC) will consider the action.

The leaders of the Conservative Party, People’s Party, Movement for Fair Georgia and the other three National Council member parties claim that they made an official application to hire the hall of the Sports Palace on March 16. They were intending to name their candidate for Tbilisi Mayor there, but this request was denied by the Sports Palace Administration.

“We will fight for the Sports Palace! We will hold a demonstration and block Rustaveli Avenue on April 9 if the Sports Palace Administration does not give us an opportunity to carry out our plan there,” said Koba Davitashvili, leader of the People’s Party, who claimed that the Government of Georgia is trying to prevent them conducting their election campaign.

“This is a cheap political blockade by the Government of Georgia against an alternative political force. The attendance we would have attracted in the huge Sports Palace hall would have highlighted that the National Council is getting stronger. The enormous number of supporters we have, who would definitely have overfilled the hall, would have proved that,” said Kakha Kukava, co-leader of the Conservative Party, who added that they will choose another place in which to announce their candidate.

“There was no particular agreement between the Sports Palace administration and the National Council concerning the building. The Sports Palace will be closed for about a month from March 28 to April 13 for renovation,” Viktoria Golenbiovskaya, the Chief Accountant of the Sport Palace told The Messenger, denying that there had been any political pressure from the Government over this matter.

The Press Centre of the CEC couldn’t give The Messenger a specific date when they would start discussing the National Council's suit, but said it would consider it within the period defined by CEC regulations.