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Ugulava demands announcement of run-off date

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, June 25
The head of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Tamar Zhvania announced that the second round of the elections will be held only after the adoption of the summary protocol and completion of all court disputes. She responded to the statement of the United National Movement (UNM) representative, Gigi Ugulava, who accused the CEC of being influenced by the Georgian Dream.

Several days ago the CEC stated that the run-off will be held either July 12 or 13. Ugulava stressed that the government is placing pressure on Tamar Zhvania, demanding the second round to be held on June 12, and that it totally contradicts the existing rules and procedures.

“As you know, many have appealed for the results of the elections in the court and the votes are being recounted. Consequently, it is impossible for the CEC to appoint the second round of elections until July 19," said Ugulava.

According to Tamar Zhvania, the statements of the UNM are invalid. She addressed all election subjects and asked them to have more competence and responsibility when discussing election-related matters. She asked people to refrain from interfering in the CEC activities.

“The appointment of the second round of elections is not the CEC chairperson’s competence and does not depend on the commission. The second round date will be announced in accordance with the law, after receiving the final report and completion of all the court disputes. The CEC is an independent body that operates within the law and no political party or statements made by them can influence the decisions of the Central Election Commission,” Tamar Zhvania said.

The Georgian Dream party accuses the UNM in attempting to discredit the elections. The press-speaker of the main party Giorgi Gegechkori emphasized that the statement made by Ugulava was absurd, aiming at discarding the election process.

“If the Georgian Dream party wanted to place pressure on the CEC, it would not allow the run-off at all. The Georgian Dream is actually a democratic party that does not use the illegal methods exercised by the previous government,” Gegechkori suggested.

Ugulava commented on Tamar Zhvania’s response, calling it unfair and cynical. “You could announce the date of second round of the elections instead of making this statement,” Ugulava said.