Vote-buying, coercion, blackmail. Observers speak about upcoming election in Georgia
The fourth preliminary report, covering 6 to 28 September, cites alleged violence, coercion, threats, bribery, misuse of administrative resources and other crimes.
“According to the organisation’s observations, during the period in question the following activities were observed: possible situations of political violence – 7; alleged political coercion/threats – 24; possible buying of votes – 8; possible sacking for political motives – 1; alleged misuse of administrative resources – 13; participation of unauthorized people in campaigns – 8; in more than 20 municipalities and regions of Tbilisi there were instances of damage to campaign materials”, says the report.
According to ISFED, the main problem for voters during the period in question is the increase in instances of coercion and threats to block voters, activists and opposition politicians.
The organisation is particularly uneased by the blackmail against female politicians in their personal lives, and calls on investigatory bodies to punish those found to be guilty in an appropriate manner.
The organisation recommends that central and local governments swiftly and effective investigate instances of physical violence, persecution and threats against activists and party members, not to use the budget for the party’s personal agenda, nor civil servants for pre-election events.
The organisation recommends that political parties keep off from physical violence, not allow coercion or threats against their opponents, the candidates and members of other parties, nor misuse administrative resources for the party’s agenda during election campaigns, while maintaining relations with voters that are free of bribery and vote-buying, making sure all their activities follow the letter of the law.
Also, they should not allow unauthorized people to participate in campaigns for their own benefit.