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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 3
Some opposition are happy that Alasania lost - Papava

In an interview with Akhali Taoba political analyst Lado Papava, asked whether the parties who refused to take part in the elections had done the right thing, says that it would not have helped them if Alasania had won.

“I am saying Alasania because he took the most votes among opposition candidates. If Alasania had won, he would have been a real candidate for the Presidency. That is why this result is ideal for Labour, the National Forum and Burjanadze’s party. They would prefer to have a kind of affair with Ugulava than work with any opposition Mayor, who would be a very serious opponent for them at the Presidential elections,” Papava said.

Opposition to continue fighting on several fronts

Kakha Shartava, one of the National Forum's leaders, states in an interview with Akhali Taoba that, "The Government used all its resources to obtain sufficient votes in the elections. Despite this, the Government only actually received 28% in the capital and 30% in the regions [its percentage of the vote divided by the turnout]. This shows us the extent of the Government’s ability to use legal and illegal means to achieve its ends. The results also show that the opposition have their own resources however and the electors confirmed by their turnout that they want to see change in the country.

"The opposition wanted to win the Mayoral Elections to hasten the removal of the Government but failed. We need to continue the battle. If we see that the current election environment gives the opposition no chance of winning an election we should fight to change it. For that, we need to conduct a joint battle. We should launch a political process supported by the international community. The elections we have had have shown us that every election will result in victory for the Government until the election environment is improved,” Shartava says.

Local NGOs report electoral malpractice

Rezonansi writes that on May 31 the NGOs Fair Elections and GYLA published preliminary reports on the election. GYLA says that these elections were different to the Parliamentary and Presidential elections of 2008 in various positive ways, but they also contained negative tendencies which overshadowed the positive ones.

"GYLA wrote 41 petitions about polling stations. 13 were filed with district election commissions. GYLA claims that the vote at Batumi's 79th polling station should be declared void due to obvious wrongdoing, as ballots without official signatures were found there. The votes at Mtatsminda and Didube polling stations in Tbilisi should also be annulled. GYLA also maintains those members of the commission who were pressurising observers should be brought to justice," the GYLA report reads.

Eka Siradze, the head of Fair Elections, also states that the negative aspects of the elections overshadowed the positive ones. Its observers reported campaigning being carried out by various parties at certain polling stations which affected how people were prepared to vote. Serious wrongdoings observed included the hindering of the organisation's observers at polling stations, pressure being put on observers, people voting with the identity cards of others, artificial increases in the number of voters through annexes to the lists, too many ballots being in boxes and so on. Fair Elections has filed 46 petitions about these wrongdoings, appealing to state institutions to consider them properly in order to secure transparent and democratic elections.