Georgia introduces two-language ballot papers for ethnic minorities

Kavkasia-Press news agency, Tbilisi, in Georgian
11 Mar 04

Georgia introduces two-language ballot papers for ethnic minorities

Tbilisi, 11 March: Voters living in the Kvemo Kartli and
Samtskhe-Javakheti Regions [largely populated, respectively, by
ethnic Azeris and Armenians] will be provided with two-language
ballot papers [in the 28 March parliamentary election], Georgia’s
Central Electoral Commission [CEC] Chairman Zurab Chiaberashvili said
at the commission’s meeting today.

Chiaberashvili said that the ballot papers will be published in the
Georgian and Azeri languages in the Kvemo Kartli Region and in the
Georgian and Armenian languages in the Samtskhe-Javakheti Region.

The CEC plans to publish 3m ballot papers for the entire country.

Also today, the CEC approved a sample ballot paper which lists
political parties and blocs participating in the elections. Names of
four of the [19] registered parties and blocs will now be listed in a
slightly revised form, as follows:

[No. 1] Socialist Party of Georgia – as “Socialist Party”;

[No. 5] Saakashvili – National Movement – as “National

[No. 11] Motherland bloc – as “Motherland”; and

[No. 18] Freedom political movement – as “Freedom political movement
– Konstantine Z. Gamsakhurdia”.

These parties had themselves petitioned the CEC to change their