On July 18, 2016, various media outlets reported that Levan Varshalomidze, a representative of citizen’s political association United National Movement, had met with constituents in the Benze neighborhood of Batumi as part of the election campaign. During the meeting, Levan Varshalomidze made a written agreement with several constituents promising to build a new apartment building.
According to Paragraph 1, Article 252 of the Law of Georgia on Political Associations of Citizens, “A party may not, directly or indirectly, with the assistance of a party candidate, representative or any other person, transfer funds, gifts and other tangible or intangible assets to a citizen of Georgia (except for inexpensive election campaign accessories such as T-shirts, caps, hats, flags, and other similar things), or sell or deliver goods or services at a discount or on concessional terms, or procure goods or services at a higher price than the market price, or supply or distribute goods or services free of charge (except as provided for in this Law), or solicit citizens of Georgia by supplying or promising monetary funds, securities, or tangible or intangible assets or services (including entering into fictitious labor or other relations).”
We think that such facts influence the constituents’ will and form false expectations in them before elections, which interferes with the conduct of pre-election processes in an equal and competitive environment.
GYLA has applied to the State Audit Office (SAO) and the election administration with a request to study the aforementioned case and to provide an appropriate response. The SAO is now studying the case.
Case of alleged use of administrative resources and vote buying – Kareli
On August 16, 2016, the local authorities organized a football tournament in Kareli which involved employees of the Municipal Administration, as well as representatives of Georgian Dream and Liberty Bank. The team composed of Georgian Dream members took the first place in the tournament, the team of employees of the Municipal Administration took the second place, and employees of Liberty Bank took the third place. The Head of the Municipal Administration of Kareli, Zaza Guliashvili, gave the winning teams monetary awards – the team that took the first place was awarded with GEL 250, the team in the second place – with GEL 150, and the team in the third place – with GEL 100.