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“United National Movement”
Elections: 13 arrested for unlawful ballot-stuffing
Elections: 13 arrested for unlawful ballot-stuffing
Georgia’s Interior Ministry have formerly charged more than a dozen people for unlawful ballot-stuffing in Marneuli district during the June 15 local elections.

Thirteen people have been detained by police, and are accused of being involved in the criminal case.

The Ministry said its investigation showed several representatives of different political parties and their supporters were involved in the illegal act, where false election papers were stuffed into ballot boxes at two polling stations in Marneuli.

Police said the majority of those accused were close relatives and had friendly relations with each other.

"It should be emphasized that the majority of the [detained people] worked in the election system before the Parliamentary elections of 2012. Some of them have many years of working experience in the election commissions,” said the Ministry in a written statement issued today.

Two of the people accused of the crime are United National Movement (UNM) observer Talekh Bitanov and Vugar Gojaev, an activist of the same party.

The Ministry’s investigation into the case started when UNM released videos showing a man putting several ballot papers into a box with assistance from a local precinct official.

The oppositional party said the man who was caught stuffing extra votes into the ballot box was affiliated with the Georgian Dream coalition, while Georgian Dream claimed the person responsible was affiliated with UNM.

No other political parties’ supporters who took part in the illegal act were in the statement.

The results of the two controversial polling stations were annulled by the Central Election Commission. A repeat vote has been set for June 29.

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