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Role of police on elections: mainly positive

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, October 26
Georgia’s NGOs have revealed they disliked some actions of Georgia’s law enforcers during the electoral process but, generally, they evaluated the police actions as positive and acceptable.

They stress that in several cases, especially in western Georgia and the Marneuli region, where clashes took place at polling stations during the first round of elections on October 8, police could have acted better to prevent the complications.

Head of the NGO Transparency International Georgia, Eka Gigauri, said several political parties were also complaining about the presence of State Security Service spies at their election events.

“There were some cases when law enforcers did not react to certain incidents, even though they saw blatant violations,” the head of the International Society of Fair Elections and Democracy, Mikheil Benidze, said.

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) said they would release a report describing police actions in the electoral process after the second round of elections, which is scheduled on October 30.

Deputy Interior Minister Shalva Khutsishvili said the police were getting ready for the second round of elections.

“More police officers will be nearby polling stations. More attention will be paid to the vote counting process as well, to ensure as peaceful a process as possible,” stated Khutsishvili.

He stressed that even though there were some violations, overall law enforcers “did a good job” on October 8.

“Investigations of violations are already underway. Every responsible person will be held accountable,” he said.

He also stressed none of the parties had protested further about the presence of State Security Service agents at their election events, as they failed to provide any evidence to support their claims.