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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI3101 2007-12-14 13:07 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

DE RUEHSI #3101/01 3481307
P 141307Z DEC 07

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 003101 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2017 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
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 
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 
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. 
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). 


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