Head of monitoring mission confirms Georgia vote fraud

Georgia Materials 10 January 2008 13:14 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The head of a European monitoring mission confirmed Thursday that voting fraud had taken place in the elections which saw Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili returned to power.

"There was crass, negligent and deliberate falsification during the vote counting," said Dieter Boden of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The German diplomat told the Frankfurter Runschau newspaper that OSCE observers reported incidents of fraud during Saturday's vote and spoke of "chaotic conditions" in Georgia's Central Elections Commission.

Earlier in the week, a preliminary election report by the OSCE said there had been a few problems with incomplete voter lists and that some people had complained of intimidation.

On Wednesday, the Georgia's election commission annulled results in four precincts because of fraud, the first sign giving credence to the opposition's accusation of vote manipulation.