Georgian Dream alleges "mobilisation" by opposition supporters before polls close in municipal voting

Georgian Dream spokesperson Shalva Papuashvili reported alleged violations by opposition supporters and members outside polling stations on Saturday. Photo via Georgian Dream press office., 02 Oct 2021 - 18:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Georgian Dream press briefing hours before the closing of polling stations across Georgia alleged a "mobilisation" by opposition supporters at voting locations, while also claiming cases of "misinformation" around the voting process on Saturday.

Presenting an overall view of the election day by 6pm local time - with two hours to go in voting process - party spokesperson and MP Shalva Papuashvili said only nine incidents had been identified at polling stations across the country.

While the incidents had all been limited to "verbal altercations", the public relations representative of the ruling party told local media, he also claimed United National Movement opposition party supporters were "mobilising outside polling stations where they see they are losing the elections".

Papuashvili named UNM members allegedly gathering in Rustavi - the city outside Tbilisi where former party head and president Mikheil Saakashvili is in detention following his arrest on Friday upon returning to Georgia - as well as Dmanisi in Georgia's south.

The spokesperson also presented cases of violations outside polling stations he said the party had identified throughout the day, naming five cases of individuals recording voter data within 100 metres of stations and 10 cases of gatherings in the same vicinity, four examples of "unlawful agitation", and two examples of vote-buying.

The briefing named UNM and For Georgia as parties whose representatives allegedly took part in some of these violations, while also responding to opposition's allegations of violations by ruling party members. Papuashvili named the accusations, such as mobilisation of State Security Service in Dmanisi, and rejected them.

Both the ruling party and opposition have claimed advantage throughout the election day, with polling booths set to close at 8pm local time to conclude the municipal elections in the country.