Saturday, August 06, 2005
Opposition to boycott Georgian by-elections
The opposition Republican Party will not participate in the upcoming MP by-elections, party leader Davit Usupashvili said on August 5, citing obstacles created by the authorities and the Central Election Commission (CEC).
At a news conference, Usupashvili explained that last year the Republican Party underwent registration in the CEC – a routine legal procedure necessary to participate in elections. The new CEC, which was set up in June, recently decided that the Republican Party's registration by the previous CEC was invalid and canceled it.
“After that we re-submitted our registration request on Monday [August 1], but the CEC rejected it, citing that it contained formal legal mistakes,” said Usupashvili, who himself is a legal expert.
He said that the CEC and the authorities are creating all possible obstacles to prevent the Republican Party from participating in the October 1 MP by-elections scheduled for majoritarian seats [single-mandate constituencies] in the Adjaran towns of Kobuleti, Batumi and Shuakhevi, the west Georgian town of Tkibuli and Tbilisi’s Isani district.
The election commission says the cancellation was justified:
The chairman of the CEC said that according to the law, a political party willing to undergo registration and participate in the elections has to submit a number of documents, including “the name of the party’s representative in the CEC and indicate the exact authority assigned to said representative.”
“In the registration form submitted to the CEC on August 2 the Republican Party named Zurab Marakvelidze as its representative to the CEC, but did not indicate his authorities. After that, we informed the Republican Party to make its representative’s authority clear and now the party has two more days to re-register,” Chairman Kavtaradze said.
He also said that a similar case occurred with another opposition party, the Conservatives. “But after we informed them to specify their representative’s authority, they did so without making any noise,” Gia Kavtaradze said.