2016 Parliamentary Elections

ISFED files in court seeking annulment of Centrists’ electoral registration

On July 20, 2016, during his appearance on Kvemo Kartli TV, Temur Khachishvili, leader of a political union, Centrists urged voters to register with Centrists’ office in Rustavi to receive “Russian pension” in the amount of 400 laris. 

According to Khachishvili, the party aims to register voters that will receive Russian pension in the future, because the Russian government wants to know how many Georgian citizens are interested to receive their pension. 

During his appearance, Khachishvili also stated that individuals that will register before October 8 will receive their pension starting from 2017, while late registrants will not receive the pension until 2018. 

The political union, Centrists, is offering to sign contracts with voters. According to these contracts, interested pensioners will receive Russian pension in the amount of GEL 400, fifty days after the parliamentary elections. This violates election legislation and constitutes vote buying, which is grounds for annulment of a party’s electoral registration. 

According to these contracts, voters that choose to sign it also undertake an obligation to participate in the elections. 

Under the election legislation, registration of the electoral subject that, personally or through any representative or any other individual or legal entity acting in their behalf, has carried out vote buying, will be revoked by a court decision if those facts are confirmed. 

In the case concerned, a political union, Centrists, is promising a pension in the amount of GEL 400 as an incentive for voters. The pension will be funded from the budget of the Russian Federation, not the Georgian state budget. This way, the party is trying to entice voters with funds from Russia’s state budget, which violates electoral laws and principles of political parties’ activities.

In light of the foregoing, ISFED has filed a complaint in court seeking annulment of the party’s electoral registration on grounds of vote buying (prohibited under Article 47 of the Election Code).