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Voter list controversy

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 2
One of the biggest problems during the election period in Georgia is the voting lists. Before, during and after the elections, this topic is highly speculated about. There are many complaints concerning this issue after all the elections conducted in Georgia since regaining its independence. The Rose Revolution took place exactly because of the rigged elections in 2003.

So this time, the United National Movement Party and other opposition parties have established a special commission which has been working on the issue of establishing once and for all, a reliable list of voters. After 8 months of intensive work, the commission reported on July 31 the results of the list investigation. The ruling power is satisfied with the results of the work so are the participant opposition entities. However, the leaders of the Georgian Dream opposition have expressed great dissatisfaction with the results and are concerned that there are possible manipulations involved. In November of 2011, the commission received a list from the Central Election Commission containing the names and addresses of the 3,483,142 citizens of Georgia. As a result of the checking, 2, 160, 608 voters were identified and confirmed whereas out of 1.3 million remaining voters, there were difficulties with them because 25, 989 appeared to be dead; 291, 871 reported being abroad; 132, 156 have canceled their registration; 689, 839 were considered so-called ‘domestic migrants’ (they are registered at one place and live in another) and 183, 621 voters could not be contacted at all. As the chairman of the commission Mamuka Katsitadze from the New Rights Party reported, the list is not final at the moment, and the work continues during August as well. The final version of the list should be submitted on September 15. Chairman of the Parliament, David Bakradze, supposed that the list should put full stop to all speculation about the list. The Head of CEC, Zurab Kharatishvili, promised that on Election Day, the CEC will use the lists created by the commission. As we said above, the Georgian Dream coalition and others do not trust this list and they are conducting their own investigation. This is created with parallel bodies; one is the Voters’ League and another Georgian Dream coalition. The Chairman of the Voters’ League, Koka Guntsadze, has demanded that the government provide exact figures of how many voters there are in Georgia. How many people are outside the country and other details. If the ruling authorities do not provide society with the required information, that would mean that the government is preparing for another high-scale falsification, stated Guntsadze.