Election results annulled at two controversial precincts in Marneuli

Police launched an investigation into reported ballot-stuffing. Photo by N. Alavidze
Agenda.ge, 17 Jun 2014 - 18:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Central Election Commission of Georgia (CEC) has annulled the results of two polling stations in rural Georgia from Sunday’s Municipal Elections, after a video was released showing a man stuffing multiple election papers into the official ballot box.

Government officials from the Interior Ministry have launched an investigation into reported ballot-stuffing at two polling stations in Marneuli municipality of Georgia’s Kvemo Kartli region.

The CEC is currently holding a meeting with local authorities in the district to discuss the controversial incident.

Yesterday, United National Movement (UNM) party released videos showing a man putting several ballot papers into a box with assistance from a local precinct official at one Marneuli polling station.

A tally of the votes for local governor - Gamgebeli - from that precinct, which showed most votes had been awarded to the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition candidate, showed a discrepancy.

The CEC said the number of ballots cast exceeded the number of voters who showed up at that polling station on the Election Day by 84.

A similar discrepancy was discovered when authorities counted a party-list vote in the same precinct. In this occasion, the number of votes cast exceeded voter turnout by 83.

UNM members said the man who was caught stuffing extra votes into the ballot box was affiliated with the Georgian Dream coalition.

Today, the ruling party responded with a similar allegation and claimed the man was affiliated with UNM.

The Vice Prime Minister and head of Georgian Dream’s election campaign, Kakha Kaladze, accused UNM of "staging a provocation”.

The CEC decided to abolish the results of the two controversial polling stations and let police investigate the case.