News

Georgian Presidential Elections 2013. Look at one region.

07/11/2013
As part of the observation mission OSCE / ODIHR for the presidential elections in Georgia in 2013, I was sent as a short-term observer. As the region of observation was defined Samstshe-Javakheti with a special orientation to the area Adigeni.
A brief prehistory of presidential elections in Georgia.
The post of president has been introduced in the country March 31, 1991 . April 14, 1991 at a special meeting of the first session of the Supreme Council of Georgia , Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected as the first president of the Republic of Georgia.
May 26, 1991 held general presidential election , won by Zviad Gamsakhurdia , gaining 87 % of votes. In January 1992 Gamsakhurdia was ousted in a military coup , and then left the country. In September 1993, Gamsakhurdia returned to Georgia and tried to regain power by force of arms . Defeated , December 31, 1993 committed suicide in one of the mountain villages of western Georgia . However, there is a theory that he was murdered.
From November 1992 to November 2003 Georgian President was Eduard Shevardnadze. November 2, 2003 , the country held parliamentary elections , after which the opposition , led by Mikheil Saakashvili, Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Zhvania said their fraud. This has resulted in the “Rose Revolution ” on November 21-23 . Opposition leaders were demanding the resignation of the president. November 23, 2003 , Eduard Shevardnadze resigned . Currently, in the words of Shevardnadze , after leaving the government , he ” will not accept any participation in political and public life of the country , but as a senior citizen is watching events in the country .”
On January 4, 2004 on 25 November 2007 he was elected President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. The early elections he received 96.27% of the vote. November 25, 2007 in connection with the mass protest Saakashvili made ​​a voluntary decision to resign, declaring early presidential elections to be held January 5, 2008. Saakashvili was re-elected president of Georgia, gaining 53.47% of the vote.


The prehistory of the region of observation (Samtskhe-Javakheti).

Region, for the most part, is the most populous of the national minorities of Georgia.

District
Population
Georgians
%
Armenians
%
Other 
Orthodox
Georgians
%
Catholics
Georgians
%
Muslim
Georgians
%
Armenian
Gregorians
%
Armenian
Catholics
%
Others
%
Akhaltsikhe
46134
62
37
1
42
14
30
11
3
Adigeni
20752
95
3
2
56
19
19
6
Aspindza
13010
82
17
1
70
10
5
15
Akhalkalaki
60975
5
94
1
6
63
28
3
Ninotsminda
34305
1
96
3
76
13
9
The ethnic component of the region has a great impact on the economic and socio-cultural as well as political landscape of the region. The language spoken in the region are mostly Russian and Armenian, Georgian language , in turn, is an official ( documentary language ) . The language issue is very badly placed throughout the region, and is regarded by the authorities as a major obstacle in the integration process of national minorities in Georgian society. It is this carried out numerous educational Projects with the controversial success and consequences.
The region is not, as such refugees or displaced persons, as well as a consequence of the primary involvement in the social life of the region is at a high level.
In the multi-ethnic region political parties of Georgia are not very active in carrying out their companies. All this is due to several factors:
• A strong fraternity replaces the political structure and often assumes a clannish nature . And therefore , the controlling elite clan is not only political support , but moral.
• Traditionally, the passive attitude of national minorities in the political struggle , in this case, it is mostly about the Armenian and Azerbaijani minority, as they are more interested in the political situation in their “native” countries.
• High level of labor migration and season migration, leading to the fact that most of the active male population ( 25-50 years ) is outside the region, and does not identify himself with the political realities of Georgia.
• The so-called loyalty of ethnic minorities , which became legitimate in modern Georgia for more than a decade of elections. A particularly striking example may be the results of the recent parliamentary elections

District
Georgian Dream (Ivanishvili) %
UMG (Saakashvili) %
Akhaltsikhe
21.29
76.54
Adigeni
26.66
69.87
Aspinza
23.29
71.43
Akhalkalaki
21.29
76.54
Ninotsminda
17.13
79.59
All Country
54.97
40.34
From the above table shows the loyalty of the region in relation to the regime or government. A similar pattern is observed in the region of Kvemo – Kartli, which is particularly compact (65% – 80%, depending on the area) Azeri minority population with a small percentage of the Armenian population (15%).
By itself, the loyalty is very relative and the main reason for this is affiliated politics and business in the region is widely used principle of ” one hand washes .” This can be most clearly illustrated by a member of parliament from Ninotsminda – Hensel Mkoyan. He won the election by a single member constituency with the support of the ruling bloc United motherland. However, immediately after the victory of the Georgian Dream, he declared himself an independent MP. It should be noted that so far no public office of UNM in Ninotsminda.
After the parliamentary elections, a wave of layoffs region and resignations at all levels of government. Were replaced by mayors , heads of villages and towns , the elders , as well as representatives of the government. Those who did not agree to resign voluntarily come under criminal investigation, such as the head of the district Adigeni.
The election campaign in the region were highly Passive character, but it was expected. The campaign rallies were held in three main contenders for the presidency Giorgi Magrelashvili ( GD), David Bakradze (UNM ) and Nino Burjanadze. Rallies on average attended by 300 to 700 people. Most attention has caused a concert in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia rapper Bera (son of Ivanishvili ) in support of the candidate from the block Georgian Dream . For the first time in the history of elections in Georgia, leading candidates were allocated all campaign materials (posters , flyers , programs, and agitation )  to the region in the Armenian language , and prior to that campaign in the region were carried out mainly in Russian .

Election process and results.

For the most part , the electoral process in all areas of the region took place without any particular incident. International observers were presented to all the territorial election commissions , and more than 75 % of the polling stations.
Worth noting is quite low voter turnout – 46.6 % of the total in the country , indicating a fairly low interest voters. However, in some regions the threshold of voter turnout ranged 59.02 %. The results of the election on that particular constituency were:
Adigeni :
Akhalkalaki
Akhaltsikhe
Aspinza
Ninotsminda
As a result, the election is viewed oschem known and underlined above regularity – to hold the vote for the power candidate. This is especially clearly seen in the most densely populated by Armenians Ninotsminda region.
However, local observers and NGOs in private conversations have stressed that the vote was of more protest nature and all voters rather not vote for George Margelashvili , but against the other favorites ( Nino Burjanadze and David Bakradze ). That, again, does not rule out the possibility of constructing a theoretical connection.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply