12 September 2012, 12:00
Statement of the Movement "Georgia's Vote for Fair Elections" in protest against inability to vote at parliamentary elections in Georgia
On September 7, Zurab Kharatishvili, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), stated that the Georgian citizens living in Russia would not be able to vote at the parliamentary elections on October 1. Not a single polling station will be opened in Russia. The head of the CEC of Georgia referred to "technical problems" that arose in Russia. We were addressed by a large number of citizens of Georgia, who were angered by the decision. The rights of about 400,000 Georgians who live in Russia, which is more than 10 percent of all the Georgian voters, have been flagrantly violated. We declare our resolute protest in the context of the situation.
We have the right to know:
- Have the Georgian authorities sent a request to allow opening of polling stations in Russia?
- Have the authorities of Georgia held talks with the Russian party about elimination of "technical problems" in Russia?
- Have the Georgian authorities attempted to solve the "technical problems" with the help of third parties?
And finally, the main question: How will the Georgian citizens living in Russia and making more than 10 percent of all the voters be able to exercise their constitutional right to elect?
We demand from the Government of Georgia:
- To give clear answers to our questions;
- Within the time remaining till the elections, to do everything possible for ensuring the right of the Georgian citizens living in Russia to get an opportunity to vote;
- To start negotiations with the Russian party with the aim to develop a "roadmap" to address the issue of voting at future elections for the members of the Georgian Diaspora.
Otherwise, we reserve the right:
- To file a claim to the Constitutional Court of Georgia in connection with a violation of the constitutional right of the citizens of Georgia;
- To address international organizations for help in the realization of the right of citizens of Georgia to vote.
By excluding the largest Diaspora from voting, the Georgian authorities doom the elections to become illegitimate.
Teimuraz Shengeliya, the leader of the Movement "Georgia's Vote for Fair Elections"
September 11, 2012
Source: Website "Saqartvelosxma.com"