07TBILISI3032, TBILISI ELECTIONS UPDATE, 12/5/2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI3032 2007-12-05 13:18 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4253
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #3032/01 3391318
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051318Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8371
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 003032 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC, EUR/FO AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: TBILISI ELECTIONS UPDATE, 12/5/2007 
 
 
------------------ 
Campaigns Continue 
------------------ 
 
1. (U) Presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili's 
representatives presented the Central Election Commission 
(CEC) with 140,000 supporters, signatures December 4, well 
over the 50,000 required to register a candidate.  (The 
deadline for submission of signatures is December 6 at 1800.) 
 In a December 4 address to students at Tbilisi State 
University, Saakashvili claimed the de facto South Ossetian 
government in Tskhinvali is a "loose tooth ready for 
removal."   Saakashvili went on to say if he won the 
election, the Georgia-Ossetian conflict would be resolved in 
a few months.  The Equality Institute, an anti-government 
NGO, sponsored a rally of less than 100 people during 
Saakashvili,s speech to protest the exclusion of students 
not "favorable" to Saakashvili from the meeting.  The 
Equality Institute also claimed two students were kidnapped 
by officers of the Constitutional Security Department of the 
Interior Ministry before the rally and abandoned in a rural 
area to prevent them from participating. 
 
---------------------------------- 
Saakashvili a Target of Complaints 
---------------------------------- 
 
2.  (U) Labor Party candidate Shalva Natelashvili called on 
his supporters to attend a protest rally in Rose Revolution 
Square in Tbilisi on December 5.  The Labor Party also asked 
the CEC to deny Saakashvili's registration as a candidate 
based on "illegal campaigning," including the use of 
administrative resources for his campaign (reftel). 
 
3.  (U) On December 3, a rally organized by Batumi University 
students to demand the reopening of Imedi TV was broken up by 
police.  The Interior Ministry said four opposition activists 
were arrested after attempting to block traffic during the 
rally.  Republican Party leader Tina Khidasheli claimed the 
action by police was another effort by the government to 
"terrorize" opponents.  Alexander Lomaia, Secretary of the 
National Security Council, called on all candidates to agree 
not to hinder the campaigns of other candidates. 
Saakashvili's supporters claim his campaigning has been 
hindered by protests and other "provocations" at his public 
appearances. 
 
4. (U) The Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) sent a 
letter to the Central Election Commission (CEC) on December 
4, saying Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava and Minister for 
Refugees and Accommmodations Koba Subeliani violated the 
election code by participating in Saakashvili's campaign. 
Ugulava and Subeliani attended a November 26 meeting with 
Saakashvili and a group of Abkhaz internally displaced 
persons (IDPs) where Saakashvili asked the two government 
employees to hand over state-owned property to the IDP's who 
occupy it.  GYLA asked the CEC to fine Ugulava and Subeliani 
GEL 2000 for particiating in the election campaign at the 
same time as performing their duties.  CEC said it would 
consider the appeal. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Russians Not Invited to Observe Elections 
----------------------------------------- 
 
5. (U)  Georgia will not invite Russian Election observers to 
monitor the January 5 elections, Acting President Nino 
Burjanadze told a Russian newspaper December 4.  She said 
Russian observers might not be objective.  She was open to 
participation from CIS member states which have "friendly" 
relations with Georgia. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
Latest Developments in Okruashvili Case 
--------------------------------------- 
 
6. (U) A German court found no grounds to block the 
extradition of Georgian opposition leader Irakli Okruashvili 
on December 4.  The German authorities have decided that 
Okruashvili should remain in custody, as requested by the 
GOG, while he awaits a final decision on his extradition. 
Okruashvili's attorney, Eka Beselia, and his wife, Irina 
Gordeladze, have visited him in jail. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
Patarkatsishvili: Collecting Signatures 
--------------------------------------- 
 
7.  (U) Presidential candidate Badri Patarkatsishvili will 
open his campaign on December 6 or 7 following submission of 
the required 50,000 signatures to the CEC.  Giorgi Zhvania, 
 
TBILISI 00003032  002 OF 002 
 
 
brother of deceased PM Zurab Zhvania, announced that 
Patarkatsishvili's campaign has already collected 60,000 
signatures. 
 
------------------------------ 
Step Toward Reopening Imedi 
--------------------------- 
 
8.  Pursuant to Acting President Burjanadze's order, the 
prosecutor general asked a Tbilisi court to unfreeze Imedi's 
assets.  The court is expected to rule on the request within 
24 hours.  Imedi's manager said that Imedi technicians would 
then enter the television station's studio and determine how 
long it will take the station to return to the air. 
TEFFT

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