Parliament approves strict jail term for violence during elections

Election campaign will continue for 4 months and will start on June 8. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 25 Jun 2016 - 11:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Parliament has adopted a bill that states anyone who commits violence during an election period can be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment.

Parliament approved the bill at its third hearing yesterday.

The bill was proposed by Georgia’s Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani and involved amendments to the Criminal Code of Georgia, where any kind of violence or threat of violence during the pre-election period during the voting process could be punishable by law.

The punishment also extended to anyone who tried to coerce or pressure someone to vote for them or their political party.

  • Under the adopted bill, if a person threatens to commit violence or does commit violence that doesn’t lead to an intentional minor health damage, the punishment will be a fine and/or imprisonment for up to two years.
  • If there is a case where violence caused an intentional minor health damage, the offender will be fined and/or sent to prison for up to three years.
  • If violence is committed by a group, the offenders will be sent to prison for two to five years.

Meanwhile Parliament amended another regulation. From today police officers are allowed to be near a voting station during the voting process if they believe public order is at risk. The police, however, are obliged to leave the area as soon as there was no more risk.

Until now police could be near a voting station only of the head of an election commission of that particular voting station had requested for officers to be present due to a threat that hindered the voting process.