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Mayoral candidates meet election observers

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, May 5
On May 4 a delegation from the Council of Europe's Observation Mission met the Tbilisi Mayoral candidates. Four opposition candidates, Zviad Dzidziguri, Gogi Topadze, Nika Ivanishvili and Gia Chanturia, talked about the current election environment, their programmes and the problems in the voters list.

Another candidate, Irakli Alasania, was not present at this meeting, but his ally Viktor Dolidze, representing him, asked the observation mission to monitor the election process, and polling day itself, more actively in order to decrease number of violations which might occur.

After the meeting the candidates seemed disappointed with the attitude of the European observers. Candidate of the Industrialists Gogi Topadze said that the elections were always rigged in Georgia but observers usually called these forged polls `democratically conducted elections with minor inaccuracies`. "So we are urging them not to observe the elections at all, we will conduct elections independently, without their assistance," Topadze said.

“European observers cannot believe that the voters list contains a block of apartments with about 1,000 registered voters in it when this block does not exist. They also find it unbelievable that about 1,000 votes usually go to the ruling party from an abandoned village. They are not aware of the tricks habitually used in Georgia,” Zviad Dzidziguri of the National Council told reporters after the meeting.

Public Democrats leader Nika Ivanishvili talked about the problems of advertising on TV. “We told the delegation the major problem our party faces, and this is that we do not have enough free TV advertising time,” Ivanishvili said.

The European monitors will leave Georgia tomorrow and return on May 28.