Sanctioning group politicial violence in Georgia will be punished by four years imprisonment, according to a new bill unveiled on Tuesday.
The legislation comes just days after violent clashes at a polling station in Kortskheli near Zugdidi which left many injured. Representatives of the Georgian Dream and United National Movement clashed, with reports that rugby players and wrestlers weiling batons had been paid to cause trouble.
Georgian prime minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili strongly condemned the incident on Monday. "Holding of peaceful elections and enabling the citizens to vote for their preferred candidate in violent-free environment is a matter of honor of the state," he said in a statement.
Kvirikashvili strongly rejected the claim made by some that his Georgian Dream party had funded athletes to act violently at the polls. "Allegations concerning the fact that we funded sportsmen are preposterous," he said. "We have not funded anyone."
The new bill, which will be discussed at a government session on May 27, would make violence and threats at polling stations or campaign stops punishable under criminal law. It was drafted by the ministry of justice on the orders of the prime minister.
SOURCE: commonspace.eu and agencies
PHOTO: Giorgi Kvirikashvili