Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07TBILISI3101
2007-12-14 13:07:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tbilisi
Cable title:  

TBILISI ELECTION UPDATE 12/14/07

Tags:  PGOV PHUM KDEM GG 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO2112
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #3101/01 3481307
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141307Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8451
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 003101 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CARC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM GG
SUBJECT: TBILISI ELECTION UPDATE 12/14/07

REF: TBILISI 3064

Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

--------------------------------
ODIHR BRIEFS THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
---------------------------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 003101

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CARC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM GG
SUBJECT: TBILISI ELECTION UPDATE 12/14/07

REF: TBILISI 3064

Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

--------------
ODIHR BRIEFS THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
--------------


1. (C) On December 13, the OSCE/ODIHR Monitoring Team
briefed the diplomatic community on its series of meetings
with civil society, political parties, and government
representatives. ODIHR reviewed election concerns to date
with "misuse of administrative resources" being one heard
frequently. ODIHR Head Boden assessed that "misuse of
administrative resources" has no clear legal definition and
is therefore difficult to define what constitutes a breach.
(Note: In a separate meeting on December 11, MOIA Deputy Eka
Zguladze claimed that the proper use of administrative
resources is clearly defined by Georgian law and argued that
it is on this basis that Georgia should be judged. She said
that she would raise this with the ODIHR team. End note.)


2. (SBU) The most frequent complaints ODIHR receives deal
specifically with the resources available to the former
president which are not available to opposition candidates,
reported instances of intimidation, and alleged dismissals
and legal proceedings against participants in the November
protests. Additional concerns included that election day
invitation cards would not reach voters in time, that the
candidates were not receiving equal media access, and that
there were more people on the voters' list than eligible
voters. With regard to the last item, the OSCE elections
expert said this complaint is not credible as the increase in
voters is due to improvements to the voters' list.


3. (C) Boden also reported on his first meeting with the
inter-agency task force created by Acting President
Burjanadze which includes MOIA Deputy Eka Zguladze, MFA Under
Secretary David Dondua, and Parliamentary Chair of the

SIPDIS
Euro-Atlantic Integration Committee Nino Nakashidze. The
task force members, who will meet with ODIHR twice weekly,
expressed an interest in a close working relationship with
ODIHR in an effort to address election concerns. ODIHR Head
Boden told the diplomats that he welcomed cooperation with

the GOG although he made clear ODIHR would maintain its
independence.


4. (U) An ODIHR spokesman said that the team's first interim
report would be released on December 19, and its second
interim report on December 27. ODIHR's media monitoring
report will be released the week of 17 December.

--------------
Acting President Warns Governors
--------------


5. (C) In a December 12 meeting with the DCM, Chair of the
Parliamentary Committee on Euro-Atlantic Integration (and
Burjanadze insider) Nino Nakashidze said that the Acting
President had called all the governors and told them that
their jobs are on the line if elections in the region are not
free and fair.

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Government Vouchers in Dispute
--------------


6. (U) Transparency International's report on Abuse of
Administration resources lists the following information with
regards to vouchers. According to Minister of Labor, Health,
and Social Protection of Georgia Davit Tkeshelashvili all
members of a family who belong to at least one of the above
mentioned categories will get electricity and natural gas
vouchers which means that possibly one family might receive
more than one voucher of the same type. Electricity vouchers
carry the words, "President's Subsidy" and the voucher for
wood says "President's Gift." The report states that most of
the budgetary decisions linked to gifts and vouchers are not
included in the 2007 budget nor the 2008 draft budget. These
are the reasons that these decisions are perceived as part of
the election cable rather than a component of a consistent
and long term social policy. The bulk of the actions were
put into motion between Saakashvili's announcement of
extraordinary Presidential elections on 5 January, and the
announcement of his resignation on 25 November.

- Through the Program of Presidential Gift, all families in
total about 900,000) living in Georgia (except Tbilisi,
Rustavi, Batumi, and Poti) are receiving one-time vouchers
for five cubic meters of heating wood. The vouchers can be
used until 2012.

TBILISI 00003101 002 OF 002



- Though the Program of Presidential Subsidy, all families
living in the regions (except those living in Rustavi,
Kutaisi, Batumi and Poti) are receiving 50 kg of flour.

- All persons below the poverty line, as well as pensioners
and teachers are receiving 50 GEL vouchers for electricity,
(in total the program covers approximately 70,000 teachers,
400,000 socially vulnerable people, and 850,000 pensioners.)
Electricity vouchers can be used in January.

- All persons living below the poverty line in Tbilisi as
well as pensioners and teachers living in Tbilisi are
receiving 50 GEL vouchers for natural gas.

- Each pensioner from Tbilisi (approximately 200,000 people)
is receiving a 20 GEL medical voucher.

--------------
G.I. Blues--No Vote
--------------


7. (U) The 2,000 Georgian soldiers serving in Iraq May not
be able to take part in the 5 January presidential elections.
Opposition members of the Central Electoral Commission have
voted against their participation, saying that there is no
provision in the electoral code to hold elections in Iraq.
When asked, Davit Usupashvili, Republican Party leader and
member of the United Council of Opposition said that the
opposition voted against the measure because the United
National Movement limited restricted voting in Embassies
abroad to registered nationals, which he believed unfairly
limited the number of voters overseas. He also claimed that
the UNM, which had been updating the electoral code through
the fall could easily have included it in the final draft,
which is still not published. David Bakradze, Spokesman for
the United National Movement, said November 12 that the
decision puts partisan politics higher than a person's
constitutional right to vote. Bakradze plans to appeal the
decision in court. The ODIHR monitoring team spokesman said
that it is not within ODIHR's mandate to monitor elections
abroad and there is a lack of clarity and incomplete
information about the number of military forces and where
they are posted.


--------------
U.S. Election Fraud Experts Teach Prosecutors
--------------


8. (U) Hal Goldsmith, Department of Justice, and Mike
Elliott, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),conducted a
two-day seminar at the Prosecutor General's Office. Over 50
prosecutors and one representative from the Central Election
Commission took part. The primary focus of the instruction
was the investigation and prosecution of election fraud
crimes. Elliott created the FBI's approach to election crime
prosecution that is used widely in the U.S.

--------------
Deal or No Deal
--------------


9. (C) David Usupashvili told Poloffs that the United
Opposition did not accept Badri Patarkatsishvili's offer to
join them in return for a position as Prime Minister in a new
Opposition government. The Opposition counteroffered to
Patarkatsishvili that it would support his plan to use
personal funds to jump start the economy. If the Opposition
were to win in the Parliamentary elections, then it would
find a way to form a coalition with Patarkatsishvili if he
created his own political party. Usupashvili did not know
when Patarkatsishvili would return to Georgia and so far
Patarkatsishvili has not responded to the Opposition's
counteroffer (reftel).

TEFFT