CEC Head Denies ‘Falsified Vote Summary Protocol’ Allegations

CEC Head Denies ‘Falsified Vote Summary Protocol’ Allegations

levan-tarkhnishvili.jpgThe FINANCIAL -- According to Civil Georgia, Levan Tarkhnishvili, the chairman of Central Election Commission (CEC), said the opposition has failed to provide sufficient evidence to back up its claims about falsification of vote summary protocols.


“The opposition parties have submitted only 27 protocols of this type; authenticity of most of these protocols, however, are largely questionable,” Tarkhnishvili said on January 13. “But even if we would have taken into consideration these protocols – which, I repeat, were not authentic protocols – it would only changed an overall results by 0.3%... Mikheil Saakashvili garnered over 53% of votes so it would have not changed anything.”


Tarkhnishvili, however, also said that the CEC had corrected vote summary protocols from six precincts after some observer organizations proved that there had been certain discrepancies between those protocols and those that were available in the upper level election administrations. “Investigation into these cases is now on going and those responsible for making changes in these protocols will be punished,” Tarkhnishvili said.


He also rejected allegations that CEC violated law when approved the final vote tally of the January 5 elections earlier on January 13.


Election observer group Georgians’ Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) said that at the time of approving final vote tally, court hearing into a complaint by GYAL was not yet over, which was a violation of the law. “It is forbidden for the CEC to summarize the election results before the completion of the disputes in common courts related to the elections,” the election code reads.


Tarkhnishvili, however, said that it was not a violation because the same code entitles CEC to approve the final vote tally within eight days after the polling day, hence on January 13.