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Repeat voting reveals no winners

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, October 24
Repeat voting was held at several polling stations in Georgia on October 22, as the results were originally annulled due to a number of electoral violations.

The repeat voting was held prior to the second round of majoritarian elections scheduled for 50 majoritarian districts on October 30, as none of the candidates managed there to overcome the mandatory 50% threshold.

Those top two candidates who gained most votes on Saturday’s repeat voting but failed to gain more than 50% of voters will participate in the second round on October 30.

The repeat voting was held at four polling stations across the country. One station was in the Marneuli district in southern Georgia and the other three were in the Zugdidi district in the west.

Preliminary results released by Georgia’s Central Election Commission said a candidate of the United National Movement opposition party, Akmamed Imamkulievi, received 48.11% of votes in Marneuli, while his opponent from the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party, Tamaz Naveriani, won 43.43% of votes.

At the #38, #79 and #108 polling stations in the Zugdidi district, two candidates with the highest number of votes at all of these three stations were Edisher Toloraia from Georgian Dream with 48.63 % and Georgia’s ex-First Lady Sandra Roelofs from United National Movement with 44.8 %.

In the Zugdidi municipality, people also voted to elect their Gamgebeli (local governor), as several local officials had to quit their posts for their participation in the elections.

Gamgebeli by-elections also showed a winner wasn’t identified so a second round would be needed here too.

Meanwhile two candidates with the highest number of votes at the Gamgebeli by-elections were Besik Gabunia from the United National Movement with 44.82% and Lasha Gogia from Georgian Dream with 44.17%.

Member of the UNM Giga Bokeria said after the voting that “all governmental agencies were mobilized and they still lost the elections in Marneuli”.

He stressed that the UNM would fight in the second round in order to increase the number of supporters.

Minister of Refugees Sozar Subari said the authorities had not let the UNM, “a party skilled in staging provocations”, to stir any unrest at the polling stations and the voting process was conducted in a “very calm” environment.

Georgia’s Central Election Commission said the election process took place in "mainly peaceful conditions" throughout the day and voters had the opportunity to express their voting preference freely.

The observers of a local NGO, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, said the voting was held in a peaceful environment in all electoral precincts and no major violations had been observed.