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Adjara Supreme Election Commission rejects NGO’s lawsuit on fining ex-president Saakashvili

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, August 26
The Supreme Election Commission (SEC) of Adjaria rejected a lawsuit of a non-governmental organization (NGO), the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), against the ex-president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili.

The NGO representatives demanded that Saakashvili be fined for participating in the pre-election campaign of the opposition party the United National Movement (UNM).

According to Georgia’s election law, foreign citizens are barred from formally taking part in the country’s campaign process.

Citing his alleged violation, the GYLA demanded that the authorities fine Saakashvili 200 GEL for the infraction.

The GYLA’s motion to impose a fine on Mikheil Saakashvili was supported by 4 SEC members, while 9 were against.

Chair of the Supreme Election Commission Parmen Jalaghonia explained that a citizen of another country cannot be fined.

“Since the person against whom GYLA complained is not a citizen of Georgia, the Supreme Election Commission cannot impose any sanctions on him,” explained Jalaghonia.

Saakashvili currently serves as the Governor of Ukraine’s strategic Odessa region. He was deprived of his Georgian citizenship in December 2015 after he was found guilty of violating Georgia’s ban on dual citizenship.

On July 31, at a gathering of UNM members at the Black Sea city Batumi, Saakashvili addressed the party gathering via video call from Odessa and called upon the supporters to vote for the UNM.

In the video, Saakashvili underlined the achievements of his former government in Batumi.