Sunday, January 6, 2008

CEC: We have 100 precincts in

Levan Tarkhnishvili, Central Election Commission chair, reports that the election was free and democratic with only some minor violations.

They have received, via fax, the results from just 100 precincts out of approximately 3500 as of 2:30 a.m. this morning.

Those results should be going up on their website from 3 a.m. until 9 a.m., when the CEC hopes to be able to announce initial official results.

Turnout was around 56%, far lower than expected.

Opposition coalition member Kakha Kukava was in the room to aggressively challenge the CEC chief, asking for photocopies of the faxes that have come in so far. It got a little heated as Tarkhnishvili reminded Kukava the press briefing was not the place for political statements, and told him to request the copies in writing.

Tarkhnishvili said that they were absolutely not behind schedule in counting the ballots. Patrick Worms, a communications adviser to the justice minister temporarily on loan to the CEC, chalked the lag up to the necessity and complexity of the hand count, the shortage of fax machines, unreliable electricity and disputes between partisan election commissioners among other reasons.

The CEC also had a Lithuanian MP on hand to give his seal of approval to the process, saying he saw a free election and "normal relations" between party representatives at the polling stations. (That is in sharp conflict with one observer at a Tbilisi precinct, who witnessed shouting matches and high tensions.)

The opposition coalition is releasing the results of their parallel vote tabulation, for Tbilisi only, in twenty minutes. Kukava denied it would be irresponsible to release that count alone, and said they hope to have a count from most of the country by the time they rally at Rike tomorrow.

1 Comments:

At January 6, 2008 at 3:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winston/Alexander,

Thank you so much for your information and balanced analysis, especially so late at night!! Thank you also for including Hans Gutbord's comments. I really appreciate it!! Toby Davis, US Dept of State

 

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