01 March, 2012

‘The 2012 election lists won’t be problematic but if there is any predicament it will be minimized. If anything endangers our ambition to make a good list, we won’t hide it either’ - said Mamuka Katsitadze, head of commission for specifying the voters’ lists, ‘New Rightists’ member.


Q. – Voters’ list has almost always been the Achilles’ heel of elections, it was considered to be one of the tools for falsification. Aren’t you taking too much responsibility upon yourself?

M.K. – The

lists always caused mistrust but when politicians speak about shortcomings they should say how to improve all this and take responsibility too. We offered the authorities to make lists according to biometric parameters. It would be new lists and not checking of the old ones but they didn’t accept our proposal because of other reason. Particularly, because it would be an expensive, long process and could create technical problems on the day of elections.

If, as agreed (and it’s also stipulated by law) during the whole election campaign international monitoring of all electronic media means is carried out instead of one-month monitoring of only public broadcaster; if there is a positive dynamics with respect to restriction of administrative resources (to this end an inter-departmental commission has been set up that, as agreed, will start functioning from July 1), I think the trust to election environment will increase. Thus, I think the step made by ‘New Rightists’ is worth of taking the responsibility. I wish this tendency were infectious for oppositionists. Nothing can be achieved by shaking of head and whining.

Q. – You mentioned inter-departmental commission that is skeptically taken by many – there was such a commission during local elections but it didn’t demonstrate its value in practice.

M.K. – There was no inter-departmental commission during local elections. Informal meetings were held on the authorities’ goodwill but they were inaccessible for media and international organizations. Some issues were discussed on the basis of oral contract; some of them ended with accord and some – not. Now they mean setting up of an institutional commission that will be transparent. This commission is being set up under the secretary of Security Council.

Q. – There are special districts where employees of this or that agency cast votes. Will the commission be authorized to control them?

M.K. – The first and foremost task of the commission is to check that those voters who had to be in special lists aren’t included in the integrated list of voters. We think to single out risk-groups that will be checked individually. Districts and regions inhabited by ethnic minorities where rigging was frequent will be included in this group. There are also addresses where many voters are registered. 10 or 40 people are added to one flat. During local elections we discovered an address in Isani district where 413 voters were added.

Q. – During the previous elections one of the means of rigging was false IDs. The rumors have it that rigging will be attempted with the help falsification of biometric ID cards.

M.K. – They say that part of opposition that is in CEC and commission for specifying voters’ list is pro-authorities’, the same is true of NGO sector of the commission; but before labeling each other let’s look at our past. As a rule such assessments are given by those who became fledglings in Saakashvili’s political boat or served him and were his financial donors for years.

Q. – Do you mean billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili?

M.K. – Not only him; some were financing them; others were part of the authorities and held highest political posts, including that of Speaker of the Parliament. So, before pointing finger it wouldn’t be bad to remember your past.

Q. – According to Ivanishvili’s forecast by October two camps will be formed and political forces will join either one or the other side.

M.K. – One thing is what you wish and the other – what will be in reality. Ivanishvili says that there are two camps and no third one, but it’s what he wishes. What else can he say? Can he say that he is one of the political forces, not the only one? They want to show the people that there are only authorities and them but reality is different. We’ll see in October what the reality is.

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