The FINANCIAL -- According to Civil Georgia, the Tbilisi City Court turned down an appeal by an election watchdog group late on December 22 and refused to strip Mikheil Saakashvili and Badri Patarkatsishvili of their presidential candidacy status for alleged attempt to bribe voters.
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) has claimed that in case of Saakashvili, the election code was violated twice – once when he gave a computer to a schoolchild and the second time when his campaign headquarters printed campaign leaflets, each one containing three free tickets to an amusement park.
The court, however, said presents were intended for children, not for voters; hence it was not a bribery of voters.
In case of Patarkatsishvili, the GYLA has argued, that the election code was violated when he promised to spend GEL 1.5 billion of his own money on paying a portion of people’s electricity and gas bills and on financial allowances for unemployed people, if elected.
The court, however, took into consideration an argument of the Patarkatsishvili’s campaign headquarters, which has claimed that funds would go at first to the state budget as a grant to the state and then would be spent on social needs of citizens.