Thousands of Georgians have staged a mass protest over the results of the country’s presidential runoff vote, alleging widespread electoral fraud and demanding snap parliamentary elections. About 25,000 opposition supporters demonstrated in the capital, Tbilisi, on Sunday, days after the former Soviet nation elected its first woman president, Salome Zurabishvili. An independent candidate backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, Zurabishvili claimed almost 60 percent of the vote to beat the opposition candidate Grigol Vashadze on Wednesday. But opposition leaders including Vashadze have refused to accept the result, pointing to instances of alleged vote-buying, voter intimidation and ballot-stuffing in the election’s second round.Full Article: Georgians demand new polls after 'bought' election | News | Al Jazeera.
Articles about voting issues in Georgia.
Thousands of Georgians protested in the capital Tbilisi on Sunday against the result of the country’s presidential election, as defeated candidate Grigol Vashadze said opposition parties would challenge the outcome in court. Vashadze has described the election as a “criminal farce” and has called for snap parliamentary elections after the central election commission said on Thursday that Salome Zurabishvili, who was backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, had secured 59.5 percent of the vote. Vashadze had 40.5 percent, it said. “We don’t recognize illegitimate results of this rigged election and demand an early parliamentary election to be called in the country,” Vashadze told thousands of supporters at Sunday’s rally in Tbilisi. Zurabishvili is set to become the country’s first female head of state, although the role is largely ceremonial.Full Article: Thousands in Georgia protest against presidential election results | Reuters.
Georgia (Sakartvelo): Georgians set to vote in hotly contested presidential runoff | Associated Press
Two of Georgia’s former foreign ministers are facing off against each other Wednesday in a tight runoff that will mark the last time Georgians elect their head of state by popular vote. Georgia, a nation of nearly 4 million people in the volatile Caucasus region south of Russia, is transitioning to a parliamentary republic. Presidential powers have been substantially reduced with the prime minister becoming the most powerful figure in the country. After the new president’s six-year term ends, future heads of state will be chosen by delegates. …Though the election lacks the usual importance, it is seen as a crucial test for the ruling Georgian Dream party which is led and funded by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili who made his fortune in Russia.Full Article: Georgians set to vote in hotly contested presidential runoff.
Georgia (Sakartvelo): Election Commission: Georgia presidential vote goes to second round runoff | GDN
Georgia’s presidential election will go to a second round runoff between two of the country’s former foreign ministers after no single candidate won outright in the first round of voting, the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said on Monday. After all the votes from Sunday’s first round of voting had been counted French-born former diplomat and foreign minister Salome Zurabishvili had secured 38.7 percent of the vote, while Grigol Vashadze, also a former foreign minister, had won 37.7 percent of the vote, the CEC said. With neither managing to get more than 50 percent of the vote necessary to win outright, a runoff between Zurabishvili and Vashadze will now be held sometime between now and Dec. 2.Full Article: World News: Election Commission: Georgia presidential vote goes to second round runoff.
Neither of the two front-runners in Georgia’s presidential election was likely to win enough votes to secure victory in the first round of voting, the first officials results show. The Central Election Commission (CEC) said that according to results from 14 percent of the polling stations, Salome Zurabishvili secured 40 percent of the vote and Grigol Vashadze won nearly 38 percent. Zurabishvili, a French-born former foreign minister, has the backing of the ruling Georgian Dream party. Vashadze, also an ex-foreign minister, is running for the opposition United National Movement (UNM). Their closest challenger, former parliament speaker Davit Bakradze, who was nominated by the opposition European Georgia party, was a distant third with 10.8 percent of the votes.Full Article: Georgia Presidential Election Heading To Runoffs, Initial Results Suggest.
Georgians voted in presidential elections on Sunday, with two former foreign ministers as the frontrunners for the largely ceremonial office. French-born Salome Zurabishvili is projected to be elected with 52.3 percent of votes, according to the exit polls funded by the ruling Georgian Dream party that is backing her, with anti-corruption Grigol Vashadze of the main opposition party expected to secure only 28.1 percent. But later on Sunday, the speaker of the parliament from the ruling party, Irakli Kobakhidze, said at a news conference that the results from 1,000 polling stations suggested that there would be a second round. Fifty percent plus one vote is needed to win the first round.Full Article: Georgia elections: Ex-foreign ministers in close presidency race | News | Al Jazeera.
Georgia’s Rose Revolution, one of the most dramatic and hopeful episodes of the post-Cold War era, will mark its 15th anniversary in a matter of weeks. For 20 days in November 2003, citizens flooded the streets of Tbilisi and other major cities to protest a stolen election. By the end of the month, a strongman had resigned and a new Georgia was born. At the time, most Western observers saw these protests and elections as a triumph of the liberal, democratic world order. Today, as the gains of 2003 erode, this former Soviet republic is in danger of becoming a cautionary tale. I was able to assess the matter for myself this week on a trip to Tbilisi for a conference aptly titled “The World Upside Down.” It’s a mixed picture. On the one hand, there are genuine opposition parties and a free press. Most urban Georgians consider themselves European, and most of their politicians still openly say they want to join NATO. When the leader of the Rose Revolution, Mikheil Saakashvili, stepped down as president in 2013 after losing an election, another important milestone was reached with the peaceful transfer of power.Full Article: Georgia's Rose Revolution Recedes Into Russia's Shadow - Bloomberg.
The Central Election Commission of Georgia has tested electronic machines for vote-counting during the Zugdidi by-elections yesterday. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) use a keyboard, touch-screen, mouse, pen or other electronic device to allow voters record their votes electronically. DREs are used in polling stations. The system captures the voter’s choices and stores an electronic record of their vote in the machine. The data captured is then transmitted by either electronic means or manually.Full Article: Agenda.ge - Central Election Commission tests electronic voting systems.
Georgia (Sakartvelo): Tbilisi Condemns Illegal Elections and Referendum in Breakaway Tskhinvali | Georgia Today
Official Tbilisi condemns the presidential election and referendum held on 9 April 2017 in occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) Region of Georgia. Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has released an official statement, saying any elections or referendum in the occupied territories of Georgia are illegal and cannot have any legal effect. “This provocative act by the Russian occupation forces grossly violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and represents yet another attempt to legitimize the consequences of several waves of ethnic cleansing, military invasion and ongoing occupation of Georgian regions,” the statement reads. The MFA says that holding the referendum on changing the name of one of the oldest Georgian regions into “Republic of South Ossetia — State of Alania” is aimed at laying the ground for its illegal annexation.Full Article: Tbilisi Condemns So Called Presidential Elections and Referendum in Breakaway Tskhinvali - Georgia Today on the Web.
Georgia (Sakartvelo): South Ossetia Says Bibilov Leads Vote In Election Condemned By Georgia, U.S. As ‘Iillegitimate’ | RFERL
South Ossetia’s election officials say Anatoly Bibilov, the speaker of the breakaway Georgian region’s parliament, has taken the lead in a presidential election that was rejected by Tbilisi and condemned as “illegitimate” by the United States. The election commission on April 10 said Bibilov had 48.7 percent with 35 percent of votes counted, Russian state-run TASS news agency reported. A candidate needs 50 percent to avoid a runoff on April 23. Turnout was reported at 81 percent. TASS quoted Bibilov as claiming he had won 54.9 percent of the vote, avoiding the runoff. The news agency said 78 percent of voters supported a referendum to change the region’s name to “Republic of South Ossetia – State of Alania,” a move also condemned by Georgia and the United States.Full Article: South Ossetia Says Bibilov Leads Vote In Election Condemned By Georgia, U.S. As 'Iillegitimate'.
The European Union says it will not recognize what it described as “so-called ‘elections'” conducted on March 12 by Russia-backed separatists who control Georgia’s Abkhazia region. Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, said on March 13 that the EU “supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, as recognized by international law.” She added that “the European Union does not recognize the constitutional and legal framework in which these elections have taken place.”Full Article: EU, Georgia Shun 'So-Called Elections' In Breakaway Abkhazia.
Georgia says legislative elections held by Russia-backed separatists who control the breakaway Abkhazia region were illegal. The Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned the March 12 voting in the Black Sea region as “yet another attempt to legitimize the ethnic purge, military intervention, occupation, and results of Russian aggression being carried out against Georgian statehood.”Full Article: Georgia Says Elections In Abkhazia Are Illegal.
Georgia (Sakartvelo): Ruling party in Georgia wins constitutional majority after vote run-off | Reuters
Georgia’s ruling party decisively won a second round of voting on Sunday, giving it more than three quarters of seats in parliament, enough to change the constitution if it wants, data from the Central Election Commission showed on Monday. The result cements Georgian Dream’s already firm grip on power in the ex-Soviet nation and is a crushing defeat for the opposition United National Movement (UNM) and its founder, former president Mikheil Saakashvili, a regional governor in Ukraine who has spoken of a possible return to his homeland. Georgian Dream, which came to power in 2012, is pro-Western but also favors closer ties with Russia, while the UNM is strongly pro-Western.Full Article: Ruling party in Georgia wins constitutional majority after vote run-off | Reuters.
Georgia (Sakartvelo): Many irregularities in second round of Georgia’s election for parliament | Democracy & Freedom Watch
In parts of Georgia, voters went to the polls again on Sunday in the second round of the parliamentary election. There were runoff contests in 50 single-seat districts, accounting for a third of the seats in the assembly. Voting took place against a background of some minor and a few serious irregularities. The outcome of today’s vote will decide if the election winner in the first round, Georgian Dream, will get enough seats to have what’s called a constitutional majority and usher in a ban on same-sex marriage and limit the president’s powers. The number of precincts open for voting was 2,229. Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA), said that by 14:00 their observers had noticed different types of violations. The Tbilisi-based organization filed 33 complaints and 25 notices today. There is tension in the village Kizilajo in Marneuli, where the results of the first round were abolished due to a riot-like incident. Georgian Dream and National Movement candidate are competing in this region.Full Article: Many irregularities in second round of Georgia's election for parliament - Democracy & Freedom Watch | Elections | Democracy & Freedom Watch.
The ruling party in Georgia decisively won parliamentary elections, firming its grip on power in the former Soviet nation, near-complete results showed on Sunday. With 99.41 percent of the votes in, data from the Central Election Commission gave the ruling Georgian Dream party 48.61 percent of the vote and the opposition United National Movement (UNM) 27.04 percent. A U.S. ally traditionally buffeted between Russia and the West, Georgia hopes to join the European Union and NATO one day even though that is something that Russia, its former colonial master, strongly opposes. With political stability still fragile — the first peaceful transfer of power since the 1991 Soviet collapse only took place four years ago – the authorities were keen the election be widely seen as free and fair to avoid a return to the days when politicians tried to seize power by force.Full Article: Ruling party in Georgia decisively wins parliament vote | Reuters.
Georgian Dream won parliamentary elections, retaining power by edging the party of former President Mikheil Saakashvili, an exit poll showed. Georgian Dream received 39.9 percent of the vote in the former Soviet republic, compared with 32.7 percent for United National Movement, according to a survey by the polling company GfK. A second poll by TNS gave Georgian Dream almost 54 percent to UNM’s 19.5 percent. Preliminary results of Saturday’s ballot will be released through the night. For single-member districts where no candidate captures a majority, a runoff will be held in two weeks. Georgian Dream swept to power in 2012 elections, six months after being formed by reclusive billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, ending the UNM rule that had started in the 2003 Rose Revolution. Over the past year, the government struggled to contain a currency crisis, which kept voters focused on the economy as it reeled from the impact of the Ukrainian conflict and Russia’s slide into recession. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who ascended to the post less than 10 months ago, is promising to rev up growth in the next decade.Full Article: Georgian Dream Wins Parliamentary Election, Exit Poll Shows - Bloomberg.
Georgia (Sakartvelo): Election in Ex-Soviet Georgia Seen as Test of Stability After Violence | VoA News
A close parliamentary election in Georgia on Saturday is being seen as a test of stability in the ex-Soviet state after a car bombing and a shooting marred the runup to the vote. Crisscrossed by strategically important oil and gas pipelines and traditionally buffeted between Russia and the West, a fifth of Georgian territory remains under the control of pro-Russian separatists and the economy is emerging from a deep slowdown, which has crimped living standards. Opinion polls suggest the ruling Georgian Dream party, which is funded and controlled by the country’s richest man, is likely to win. But they also show strong support for the opposition United National Movement (UNM) and suggest many voters are undecided. “No one can be sure who the winner will be, but the vote is expected to be free and fair,” said Thomas de Waal, a Caucasus expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Full Article: Election in Ex-Soviet Georgia Seen as Test of Stability After Violence.
Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) revoked the registration of the Industrialist-Our Homeland bloc for the upcoming October 8 parliamentary elections, according to an announcement published on the CEC’s website. According to CEC Head Tamar Zhvania, the bloc missed the deadline for submitting its list of parliamentary candidates. The leadership of the Industrialists slammed the CEC’s decision, saying it was an unfounded decision aimed at marginalizing the party. The party’s leaders said they have already appealed to Tbilisi’s City Court.Full Article: Georgia’s Election Commission Bans Anti-Western Party From Elections - Georgia Today on the Web.
Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) Chair Tamar Zhvania announced Tuesday that the controversial pro-Russian Centrist Party has been barred from taking part in the upcoming October Parliamentary Elections following the party’s release of a campaign ad promoting integration with Moscow. Zhvania said the party’s leadership had failed to legally register themselves and would be barred from running in the October polls. “The Centrists’ leadership is not legal, therefore I signed a decree cancelling the registration of the party,” said Tamar Zhvania at a special briefing.Full Article: Georgia’s Election Committee Disqualifies Pro-Russian Centrist Party - Georgia Today on the Web.
Abkhaz opposition leader Raul Hajimba has won in the country’s early presidential election with about 50 percent of votes, preliminary results say. The poll was held in Abkhazia after the previous head of state resigned following anti-government protests. According to preliminary data announced by Abkhazia’s Central Election Commission, Hajimba is winning with 50.57 percent of votes and is followed by Aslan Bzhania, who garnered just under 36 percent of votes.Full Article: Opposition candidate wins in Abkhazia early presidential poll — RT News.