08TBILISI909, DAS BRYZA MEETS WITH CEC CHAIRMAN TARKHNISHVILI

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08TBILISI909.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI909 2008-05-30 14:03 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7237
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0909/01 1511403
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301403Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9532
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000909 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/30/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: DAS BRYZA MEETS WITH CEC CHAIRMAN TARKHNISHVILI 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: On May 12, EUR DAS Matthew Bryza and the 
Ambassador met with the Chairman of the Central Election 
Commission (CEC), Levan Tarkhnishvili.  Noting recent threats 
of violence around the elections, Tarkhnishvili said he 
considers violent protests at district (DEC) and precinct 
(PEC) election commissions more likely than attacks against 
himself.  DAS Bryza said he told the Joint Opposition earlier 
(septel) that any violence is unacceptable and undemocratic. 
He then underlined the importance of transparency in the 
election process to Georgia's democratic development, western 
integration, and NATO aspirations.  Tarkhnishvili briefed the 
group on CEC progress to date, and steps it is taking to 
increase public faith in the May 21 parliamentary elections. 
Tarkhnishvili told the Ambassador and DAS Bryza that there 
would be no delays in posting preliminary results, in the 
order received, on the CEC's website.  End summary. 
 
2. (C) On May 12, EUR DAS Matthew Bryza, the Ambassador, and 
EUR/CARC Conflicts Advisor Michael Carpenter met with CEC 
Chairman Levan Tarkhnishvili.  The Ambassador pointed out the 
Embassy's and OSCE's concern for Tarkhnishvili's safety in 
light of recent protests and threats against him and his 
home.  Asked if he has a guard, Tarkhnishvili said no, and 
that he considers violence at DECs and PECs more likely than 
attacks against him or the CEC.  However, the Chairman noted 
the CEC will be moving to its previous building during 
election night, due to better security.  (Note: On May 13 at 
an OSCE Ambassadors meeting, the need for security was noted 
by all.  However, concern persists as to whether and how the 
CEC will manage the information flow, from DECs and PECs, and 
their IT infrastructure at the two different buildings. 
USAID Implementing Partner IFES has an IT consultant working 
onsite with the CEC's IT staff.  IFES told Poloff that the 
CEC's IT department never moved to the new building.  IFES 
said the CEC will test their fax network and receiving 
equipment to send and receive protocols on Saturday, May 17. 
End note.) 
 
3. (C) DAS Bryza said to Tarkhnishvili that he told the Joint 
Opposition on May 9 (septel) that any violence is 
undemocratic and has no place in the election or Georgian 
society.  Bryza told Levan Gachechiladze that his statements 
(threatening to "break jaws" on one occasion, and to drag 
"Tarkhnishvili by the necktie" on another) are unacceptable. 
Gachechiladze denied making the threats at first, then 
countered with arguments that if the elections were not fair, 
all options remained on the table. 
 
4. (C) Bryza then underlined the importance of transparency 
in the election process to Georgia's democratic development. 
He said the current conflict with Russia in Abkhazia has 
improved general support for Georgia in Europe.  However, 
Bryza said free and fair elections would be the most critical 
way to speed up Georgia's progress toward gaining a MAP with 
NATO. 
 
5. (U) Tarkhnishvili discussed CEC actions to improve public 
trust in the May 21 elections (some funded by USAID).  These 
include: purchasing 1,000 additional GSM faxes which will 
allow more than one-half of all PECs to directly send their 
results to the CEC; re-deploying the CCTV cameras to 
high-traffic PECs in the cities, to cover more than one-half 
of all voters; improving the complaints process and ensuring 
that complainants have an opportunity to correct any 
technical errors; conducting PSAs for voter awareness and 
how-to-vote on TV and in the subways; providing a FAQ section 
once a week in Georgian, Russian, and Azeri papers; holding 
public CEC press announcements and CEC sessions; and 
improving training for all election commission staff (over 
51,000 total, and nearly 2 percent of the electorate, of 
which 23,000 are from the opposition).  Tarkhnishvili pointed 
out that the opposition now has representatives at all 
election commissions, and each party can have two 
representatives per PEC. 
 
6. (SBU) Tarkhnishvili said the CEC would test their 
nation-wide fax reporting system this week.  He told the 
Ambassador that in the 75 single-mandate, majoritarian 
districts, if 10 percent or more of the votes are canceled, 
then a new election will be held within two weeks.  He said 
that there are two or three new Special PECs (used for 
military or police bases, with the results tallied with a 
regular PEC) with 10,000 more voters now included in these 
Special PECs.  Tarkhnishvili said the increase is due to the 
return of soldiers from Iraq and soldiers on TDY in certain 
districts.  He said all the Special PECs together equal no 
more than one percent of voters in any majoritarian district. 
 
7. (C) Bryza acknowledged the CEC's preparations but again 
 
TBILISI 00000909  002 OF 002 
 
 
pointed out these elections must be fair to convince the U.S. 
and a skeptical Europe.  Tarkhnishvili said he understands &#
x000A;this.  He said his staff is trained for any contingency and 
there would be no delays in posting preliminary results, in 
the order received, on the CEC's website. 
 
8. (U) DAS Bryza has cleared this cable. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: