– A group of civil society activists in the Georgian Telavi (Kakheti region) during the meeting on the eve of elections to bodies of local self-government in protest intends to spoil their ballot papers by writing on them the word “sheep”.
As reported on Sunday Georgian media, thus they expressed their protest against the made this year’s decision on withdrawal of the city of the status of self-governing units.
About how many ballots were spoiled, not reported, however, the media noted that in social networks, activists share photos of the ballots, where the lists of candidates in mayors of district and deputies of Sakrebulo (local legislative body) stressed handwritten word “sheep”.
Telavi has received the status of self-governing cities in 2014, but this summer, the Georgian Parliament approved amendments to the local government Code, according to which their status has lost a number of cities, including Telavi. On the last Saturday election, the residents of Telavi did not vote for the mayor and for the mayor of the municipality (district). Mayors in Georgia the day before had been elected only in Tbilisi and four cities with the status of self-governing units – Batumi, Kutaisi, Poti, Rustavi.
In September, opponents of the prison city of the status of self-governing units held in Telavi symbolic protest. In particular, the group of civil society activists stated that as a mayoral candidate to represent the sheep and urged residents to vote for it. Then the activists urged city residents on election day to come to polling stations and under the list of official candidates on the ballot write the word “sheep”, and then cut around it.
As stated to journalists by the organizers, they believe that “it doesn’t matter who will represent local government, as Central government looks to local authorities and the population as sheep.”