Georgian Dream Majoritarian candidate in Kutaisi, Koba Narchemashvili, discussed the 2003 Parliamentary elections with media representatives. Mr Narchemashvili stated: "The ruling party received 22% of the total votes in the Parliamentary elections on 2 November 2003. If the government had totally falsified the elections, why did the ruling party not receive as much as 64%?"

The 2 November 2003 elections were the third Parliamentary elections in Georgia after the adoption of the new constitution. In total, 18 political groups took part in these elections with only six of them managing to pass the 7% threshold. Together with the elections, a referendum was also held in regard to decreasing the members of the Parliament of Georgia from 235 to 150.

By 2003, the situation around the Union of Citizens of Georgia as the ruling party worsened significantly. Previously, Mikheil Saakashvili and Zurab Zhvania, together with other members of the party, had left in 2001 which was then followed by the party’s defeat in the 2002 local elections. Against the backdrop of a decreasing level of trust toward the ruling party, the approval ratings of the opposition parties were on the rise. The first four places in the elections for Tbilisi City Council were taken by opposition parties (1st place – Labour Party, 2nd place – United National Movement, 3rd place – Zurab Zhvania’s Christian-Conservative Party and 4th

place – New Rights) and obtained 40 mandates out of 49.

The campaign period for the 2003 Parliamentary elections was marred with violence and different sorts of irregularities which were under the attentive scrutiny of the majority of NGOs and international observer missions (OSCE and COE groups of observers). The possibility for the potential falsification of the elections was underscored multiple times because the then Government of Georgia blocked the work on making voter lists more precise as well as a full-scale application of an anti-election fraud system using finger inking. All of these factors contributed to the increased possibility of having unfair elections.

According to the official results of the 2003 Parliamentary elections, the Union of Citizens of Georgia as the ruling block finished first with 21.32% of the votes. Second place was taken by the pro-ruling party block, Democratic Union for Revival (18.84%). The third place was taken by the United National Movement (18.08%). The Labour Party was fourth (12.04%). The opposition parties declared the results announced by the Central Election Commission of Georgia as falsified. According to the position of the parties, the elections were completely rigged and the official results did not reflect the real picture.

Of note is that according to the parallel vote tabulation conducted by the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, the United National Movement (UNM) finished first with 26.6% of the votes. The UNM was followed by the Union of Citizens of Georgia (18.9%), Labour Party (17.6%) and the Burjanadze-Democrats (10.15%). Based on this vote tabulation, the Democratic Union for Revival received only 8% of the votes which was twice less as compared to the official results announced by the Central Election Commission of Georgia. Apart from the opposition parties and local NGOs, the OSCE observer mission issued a very critical assessment

of the elections. The official report published after the elections said: "The election process was characterised by a clear lack of political will by the governmental authorities to organise a genuine democratic election process resulting in widespread and systematic election fraud." Two regions – Kvemo Kartli and Ajara – were exceptional in that regard. According to the report, due to the absence of reliable voter lists for the elections, a substantial part of the electorate was disenfranchised, particularly in Tbilisi, Rustavi and Kutaisi. The report also said that there were cases of pressuring voters, violence against opposition supporters and the misuse of state owned resources in favour of the ruling political entity. According to the data of the international observers, multiple voting and the destruction of ballot boxes were quite frequent. The OSCE recognised the Government of Georgia as responsible for these irregularities. The then Minister of Internal Affairs, Koba Narchemashvili, also had his share of the responsibility.

The election fraud spurred a massive protest of the population which was followed by street rallies and processes which were subsequently called the "Rose Revolution." Eventually, everything ended with the change of government. The Supreme Court of Georgia declared the results of the proportional part of the 2003 Parliamentary elections as null and void. On 28 March 2004, new Parliamentary elections were held where the National Movement - Democrats garnered 67% of the votes. The second place was taken by the New Rights and Industry Will Save Georgia block whilst the Democratic Union for Revival finished third with 6% of the votes. The Union of Citizens of Georgia did not participate in the aforementioned elections.


The results of the 2003 Parliamentary elections were falsified. This fact was confirmed both by the OSCE international observer mission and local NGOs. According to the results of a parallel vote tabulation conducted by the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, the results of the ruling party and its affiliates were considerably lower than the official results announced by the Central Election Commission of Georgia.

FactCheck concludes that Koba Narchemashvili’s statement is a LIE.