Signs of vote-buying in National Forum’s Poti election campaign
A statement posted on social media by the Youth Wing of Poti majoritarian MP candidate Otar Kharchilava representing the party National Forum invites Poti youth (17 to 30 years of age) to take part in a variety of activities (field trip, karaoke, photo session, etc.).
A representative of TI Georgia called one of the numbers indicated in the statement. The recipient of the call confirmed that the events are funded by the National Forum and are directed at persons who are already involved in Otar Kharchilava’s campaign or are planning to do so in the future. According to the same person, several of these events have already taken place.
We believe that these actions exhibit signs of vote-buying. According to Article 47 of the Election Code, vote-buying is defined as giving of funds, gifts, and other material possessions by electoral subjects, candidates for electoral subject, and their representatives to the citizens of Georgia, personally or through other persons; distribution or dissemination of any goods free of charge; and motivation of Georgian citizens by promising to give them funds, securities, and other material possessions (irrespective of their value).
We call on the State Audit Office and the Chief Prosecutor's Office to investigate the above case and, if necessary, take measures prescribed by the law.