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The United National Movement’s majoritarian candidate for Marneuli, Akhmed Imamkuliev, stated that the majoritarian candidate from the Georgian Dream, Tamaz Naveriani, is a predator because he was assaulting people at the 22nd

District Election Commission of Marneuli during the 2014 local elections. Mr Imamkuliev stated: “It is ironic for me that my opponent from the Georgian Dream is a person who does not live in Marneuli and knows nothing about the region’s problems. He was committing acts of violence against people during the local elections and there are video recordings of this fact.”

FactCheck

took interest in the statement and sought to verify Akhmed Imamkuliev’s claim.

We found the video recording (see the link)

mentioned by Akhmed Imamkuliev on a social network. The recording shows that Tamaz Naveriani is threatening the cameraman with the following words: “You will see how I will deal with you.” After that, Mr Naveriani was seen at the Marneuli District Election Commission when every polling station was already closed. When an observer took interest in what Mr Naveriani was doing at the District Election Commission, he answered that he “gave water to somebody.” After that, Mr Naveriani tried to assault the observer but others in the vicinity managed to stop any further confrontation.

FactCheck

contacted Tamaz Naveriani but he refused to comment upon this issue and said only that Akhmed Imamkuliev’s statement was not serious.

We also contacted the person with whom Tamaz Naveriani had the aforementioned verbal altercation, Nikoloz Chomakhashvili. Mr Chomakhashvili said that he was observing the 2014 local elections as a representative of the International Network of Civic Development organisation. He explained that he was at the polling station in the first half of the day when he noticed Mr Naveriani for the first time. As stated by Mr Chomakhashvili, Tamaz Naveriani came to the polling station several times in the company of some other men and then went to the District Election Commission when the polling station had closed. Mr Chomakhashvili noticed Mr Naveriani once again because he was speaking to the District Election Commission chair in a loud voice and reprimanding him for not fulfilling his promise. Nikoloz Chomakhashvili also underscores that Tamaz Naveriani was not allowed to be at the District Election Commission because he did not have any of the credentials allowing him to gain entry. In his interview with FactCheck,

Mr Chomakhashvili stated: “I reacted to the unauthorised presence of Tamaz Naveriani at the District Election Commission and asked him to present his credentials or a permit granting him the right to be there. This request made him furious which was soon followed by his verbal and physical assault. I would like to emphasise that there were policemen right there in that very place but they did not react whatsoever. This is readily seen in the video recordings.” Mr Chomakhashvili also stated that he had written several complaints about this fact but they remain unanswered.

Conclusion

Video recordings posted on the internet demonstrate that the Georgian Dream’s majoritarian candidate, Tamaz Naveriani, did indeed attempt to assault Nikoloz Chomakhashvili, an elections observer, during the 2014 local elections. Moreover, Mr Naveriani does not have an answer as to why he was at the polling station and the District Election Commission at that time. Mr Chomakhashvili stated that complaints were submitted concerning this incident but they have been left without follow-up.

FactCheck refrains from giving a straightforward assessment of this fact and leaves Akhmed Imamkuliev’s statement WITHOUT VERDICT.

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