12 Mar 2018 16:49

Georgian opposition intends to file suit with ECHR over vote-rigging in 2017 elections

TBILISI. March 12 (Interfax) - All of the large opposition parties of Georgia intend to file a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) this week claiming that the current administration rigged the fall 2017 elections to local governments.

"The entire political spectrum, except for the ruling party, Georgian Dream, says that elections are virtually not conducted in Georgia. Statements that international organizations have given a positive evaluation to local elections are a bald-faced lie. International observers' evaluations were extremely negative; they just didn't say in their reports that elections in Georgia have become pointless due to vote-rigging as it would become a call to a revolution," Nino Burjanadze, the chairwoman of the party Democratic Movement and former parliament speaker, said at a joint press conference of the leaders of opposition parties on Monday.

Vote-rigging in elections casts doubt on the legitimacy of the current Georgian administration, she said.

The leaders of 20 Georgian opposition parties said they hope that the ECHR will begin hearing their joint lawsuit and recommend that the Georgian authorities begin an investigation into the outcomes of local elections, including ballot recounts.

Georgian Dream received 53% of the vote in the 2017 election. Voter turnout was 45%.