Georgian Dream members were wounded by gunshots in the town of Marneuli in Southern Georgia yesterday, including the party’s majoritarian candidate for Marneuli City Assembly and the acting deputy.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, "unidentified persons wounded four people with automatic rifles in the village of Kizil-ajilo, near the Georgian Dream's election office." The wounded are in hospital in Marneuli. Two underwent surgery and are in difficult condition. The other two injured have various body injuries, the doctors said.
Georgia is having local self-government elections on Saturday, October 21.
There is an investigation underway under Article 117, Part 7 of the Criminal Code of Georgia for intentional infliction of grave injury.
Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Mgebrishvili said at the scene of the shooting that the qualification of the investigation can be changed if required.
"We are working on every possible version. We have some operational information, so we have to wait for our employees who are receiving and working on new information every minute. The qualification of the case can be changed at any time, but I cannot say anything precise now,” Mgebrishvili said.
The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association has called for an immediate and unbiased investigation. The organization’s chairman Ana Natsvlishvili says this is one of the biggest pre-election incidents.
“This is a very disturbing fact, a very serious case in the pre-election period. Some people were wounded by the use of firearms. It is highly important for the administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to respond quickly. It will also be important if during the pre-election period or general elections we will have an immediate response and investigation prioritized on top levels. We have also heard the Minister's statement that an investigation has been launched and the qualification is known to the public. The most important thing in this issue is to investigate the case fully and quickly, being unbiased regarding motives,” Natsvlishvili said.
On October 19, Minister of Internal Affairs Mgebrishvili held a working meeting with the directors of police departments and the heads of departments in the Ministry regarding election security. "The Ministry of Internal Affairs will put maximum effort to ensure that the election period is held in a peaceful and secure environment this year,” the Minister said.