Violent incidents in Zugdidi should be promptly investigated
We would like to respond to the alleged criminal offenses committed during the campaign of the Zugdidi mayor snap elections in recent days, which could hinder the holding of elections in a free and fair environment and violate human rights.
On May 14, TV company "Odishi" released video footage showing how a couple of persons assaulted Sandra Roelofs, Mayoral candidate nominated by the United National Movement (UNM), and her accompanying supporters. In addition, the recording also shows that several individuals are harassing journalists and hinder their professional work. Representatives of the UNM told us that the above-mentioned harassers also tried to disrupt Sandra Roelof's election meetings. These actions clearly contain signs of criminal offense and it should not be difficult to identify the attackers.
Today TV company “Rustavi 2” also released a video recording in which Gia Danelia, a member of Zugdidi City Assembly, is supposed to be involved. The report recounts how Dandelia speaks about the instruction provided for pressure, bribery and abduction of voters. It is necessary to determine the authenticity and contents of this footage.
Besides that, on May 13 “Rustavi 2” was reporting about a number of people openly claiming that the representatives of "Georgian Dream", the ruling party, offered cash assistance in exchange for their votes. This action contains signs of vote buying.
We call on:
- Law enforcement agencies urgently investigate the alleged facts of criminal offense and make the relevant persons responsible for them;
- The party "Georgian Dream" and its supporters to refrain from using illegal methods in the election campaign in order to prevent irreversible damage to the electoral processes and the country's reputation.