Georgian Young Lawyers Association Releases Pre-Election Report

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), a local human rights watchdog, has released its second assessment report on the upcoming by-elections, detailing campaign violations from April 28th to May 15th.

The by-elections will be held on May 19, when voters will go to the polls to elect five municipality mayors (Marneuli, Zestaponi, Chiatura, Zugdidi and Khulo) and to fill one vacant majoritarian seat in Parliament and eight majoritarian seats in municipality councils.

GYLA says that while overall the lead-up to the elections has been mostly calm, lately the situation has deteriorated, especially in Zugdidi, where Sandra Roelofs, wife of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, of the United National Movement (UNM), will face off against Giorgi Shengelia of the ruling Georgian Dream party.

This Tuesday, Roelofs and her team said they were physically attacked during the shooting of the TV program Lyustratsia; journalists and TV operators were also targeted. The incident lasted some 15 minutes until police arrived on the scene.

“It is unfortunate that the pre-election environment is getting more and more strained as we are getting closer to the election day. It is a lot more concerning that these methods are used by major political parties… such instances could threaten peaceful conduct of elections,” GYLA’s report said.

The group called for a halt on further escalation, and on the Ministry of Internal Affairs “to carry out preventive measures against such facts, as well as to investigate previous incidents promptly and hold perpetrators accountable.”


By Lucy Papachristou

Photo Source: Wikipedia


17 May 2019 18:10