Pre-election Feast for the Kakheti electorate
According to the Information Centre of Kakheti, on July 31st the political union Christian-Democratic Movement set a tableful of meals for the electorate during a pre-election meeting in Gurjaani. We believe that such conduct may be considered vote buying and it requires profound investigation.
According to materials from the Information Centre, the leaders of the party refused to be sponsors of the event and claim that all products (wine, meat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bread) were brought by the gathered people, and the party only organized the event. However, the majority of participants state that they did not pay anything and were invited by the Party. It can be seen from the video footage that the event was perceived by the public as the Christian-Democrats’ treat.
According to the Organic Law of Georgia on the Political Unions of Citizens, it is prohibited for political parties to transfer monetary assets, gifts or any other material or nonmaterial values through its candidates, representatives or other persons, directly or indirectly, to the Georgian citizens. In addition, according to Article 1641 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, direct or indirect transfer of money or other assets in connection with election process is penalized by the restriction of liberty for up to three years, or a fine. Therefore, evidence of a criminal offence can be demonstrated in this case. It should be taken into account that the entity involved in the incident is a political party actively involved in an election campaign and, therefore, the existence of electoral purposes is unquestionable.
We refer to the State Audit Office of Georgia and to the Office of the Prosecutor-General to investigate the aforementioned fact and act accordingly.