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The National Agency of the Public Registry of Georgia published a statement about the Centrists political party which said that the Centrists have had no leadership or representatives since 2006 according to the Agency’s official data and currently remain in this situation. After this information was released, the Election Administration of Georgia was asked several questions concerning the registration of Vladimer Bedukadze’s Centrists party. The Head of the Administration, Tamar Zhvania, replied to the questions with a statement of her own.

Tamar Zhvania stated that on 2 June 2016, the Election Administration of Georgia, based upon official notice and all of the necessary documentation presented by the party as well as Article 113 of the Elections Code of Georgia, registered the Centrists party and explained that the complaints about the actions of the Election Administration of Georgia in terms of the party registration process are unfounded and not based upon competent opinion.

FactCheck

verified the accuracy of this statement.

The Elections Code of Georgia determines the rules for party registration and states that a party addresses the Election Administration with an appropriate notice signed by the leader (or leaders) of the party in order for it to take part in the Parliamentary elections. According to Point 2 of Article 113 of the Elections Code of Georgia, the aforementioned notice must be supplemented by either the party’s registration license as well as its charter or legally certified copies of these documents.

Point 3 of the same Article 113 determines the information to be included in the notice which must include the following:

  1. The names and surnames of the party leader or leaders as well as their addresses (the place where they are registered), telephone numbers and signatures.
  2. The name and surname of the party representative as well as his address (place of registration), telephone number and the limits of his authority.

According to Point 5 of Article 113 of the Elections Code of Georgia, the relevant department of the Election Administration of Georgia checks the information presented in the notice as well as the admissibility of the documents and presents a report to the Administration’s head no later than by the end of the day following the receipt of the notice. According to Sub-Point A of Point 6 of Article 113, the Administration’s head will register the party together with its representative only if the presented notice and the documents are compatible with the requirements of the norms of procedure as presented above.

The National Agency of the Public Registry of Georgia’s website enables any interested individual to see that the Centrists party does not have and has not had registered leaders or representatives since 2006.

According to the requirements of Article 113 of the Elections Code of Georgia, the Centrists were obligated to present the Election Administration of Georgia with the party’s registration license and its charter or legally certified copies of these documents in lieu of the originals. The notice should also have included the names and surnames of the party leader or leaders as well as their addresses (places of registration), telephone numbers and signatures and the name and surname of the party’s representative as well as his address (place of registration), telephone number and the limits of his authority. According to the same Article 113, the Election Administration was obligated to verify the validity of this information.

According to the statement published by the National Agency of the Public Registry of Georgia, the Centrists party is led by its Congress whilst the executive structure is in the form of its Political Council. According to the party’s Charter, the Congress elects its party Chairman and the Political Council with a tenure of four years.

According to the statement of the National Agency of the Public Registry of Georgia: “The 2002 report of the party’s founding Congress states that the party’s Chairman would be Teimuraz Khachishvili with the Political Council consisting of the following individuals: Teimuraz Khachishvili, Vakhtang Goguadze, Valeri Kvaratskhelia, Aleksandre Chiladze, Vakhtang Talakvadze, Jemal Ninua, Longi Chelidze, Temur Jishkariani, Gogi Bichashvili, Davit Kevkhishvili, Eldar Goderdzishvili, Gela Esakia, Vazha Bakhturidze and Gela Papuashvili.

The tenure of the party’s Chairman as well as that of its Political Council ended in 2006 as they were elected for just four years. The party has not presented the registering structure with any information about the changes in its leadership from 2006 to 2016.

On 19 May 2016, Teimuraz Khachishvili requested a return of the party’s Charter and its official registration license which was satisfied by the National Agency of the Public Registry of Georgia. However, given the fact that this individual was no longer the party’s acting Chairman, the license did not indicate his (Teimuraz Khachishvili’s) name.”

It is interesting to note that on 16 August 2016, the Head of the Election Administration of Georgia, Tamar Zhvania, terminated the registration of the Centrists party based upon the aforementioned statement from the National Agency of the Public Registry of Georgia.

Conclusion

According to the requirements of Article 113 of the Elections Code of Georgia, the Centrists were obligated to present their party’s registration license and their charter, or legally certified copies of these documents, to the Election Administration of Georgia. The notice should also have included the names and surnames of the party’s leader or leaders as well as their addresses (place of registration), telephone numbers and signatures as well as the name and surname of the party’s representative with his address (place of registration), telephone number and the limits of his authority. According to the same Article 113, the Election Administration was obligated to verify the validity of this information (which would show that the party has not had authoritative leadership or representatives since 2006) which would have resulted in the rejection of the request to register the Centrists party.

Tamar Zhvania placed the blame on the National Agency of the Public Registry of Georgia; however, the fact that the Election Administration learned that the Centrists party had not had official leadership since 2006 from a media report on 15 August 2016 indicates that the Administration ignored its duty to verify the validity of the documents presented by the political party seeking to register for the Parliamentary elections. This was clearly the responsibility of the Election Administration of Georgia.

FactCheck concludes that Tamar Zhvania’s statement is a LIE.

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