Did the Mayoral Candidate Nika Melia Admit that the Elections are not being Rigged?

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On September 29th, the Facebook user Tamar Janelidze published a video, which includes an excerpt from a briefing held by opposition parties on the same day. In the excerpt, Nika Melia – a candidate representing opposition parties as the mayoral candidate for the upcoming elections, and the chairman of the United National Movement party, says the following:

Nika Melia: “All of us should be present at polling stations and precincts! And no force, not even the invisible one, will dare to take away your choice. “People, elections are not rigged in the country, not by that much difference or percentage, so that Ivanishvili can claim the victory.”

The video is accompanied by the following description: “Finally, the truth has been said.”

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The fragment of Nika Melia’s comment is being disseminated without context. Melia’s complete answer to the journalist’s question shows that Melia does not rule out election fraud, but he relies on pre-election polls and believes that in order to win, the “Georgian Dream” will have to falsify the results to a great extent, which will not be allowed by the opposition.

On September 29th, the members of the united opposition, Nika Melia, Elene Khoshtaria, and Zurab Japaridze,  hosted a joint press conference. To the question of  “Formula” on why the population should maintain the trust for the opposition to defend their votes and their protests, given the fact that the opposition has boycotted due to the election fraud, accused the government of rigging parliamentary elections, but at the end of the day, still decided to enter the parliament, Melia replied that based on pre-election polls, the “Georgian Dream” would need large-scale fraud to win the 2021 elections, which they would not allow:

Nika Melia: “Will they try to rig the elections? We will be there to report it all. But, for them not to even think about it, the simple solution is sought – All of us should be present at polling stations and precincts! And no force, not even the invisible one, will dare to take away your choice. “People, elections are not rigged in the country, not by that much difference or percentage, so that Ivanishvili can claim the victory. This is evidenced by sociological research as well. Then we should all just stay at home, let these people go to the polls, and bug those ballot papers in the ballot box. We will not allow anyone to do that.“

Noteworthy, the post’s author uses the frame supporting the “Georgian Dream” as for the profile picture and indicates the “Parliament of Georgia” as the current place of employment.

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The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Politics
Violation: Missing Context
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