Tskhinvali Authorities Change Electoral System

The 34-member assembly of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia will be elected through a mixed proportional-majoritarian representation from 2019, according to a bill endorsed by the region’s Moscow-backed lawmakers on March 30.

In the new system, 17 seats will be allocated proportionally under the party-list contest with a seven percent electoral threshold, while the remaining 17 seats will be filled from single-member districts (both individual and party nominations).

The respective amendment was approved at the “parliament” session yesterday with 29 votes in favor and two abstentions, less than a year and a half after the corresponding change was introduced in the region’s “constitution.”

The new system replaces a fully proportional representation that has been in place since 2009, and essentially amounts to a return to a system that had been functioning through 2004. With that, it echoes the decision of the Russian authorities to go back to a mixed representation in its State Duma polls.

Speaking on the matter on February 18, 2016, then head of the “parliament” and incumbent leader of the region, Anatoly Bibilov, said the change was “in the spirit of the steps“ that Moscow and Tskhinvali were taking “for improving the legal framework of the republic of South Ossetia.”

“The Russian Federation has also changed the electoral system and the next convocation [of the State Duma] will be elected through a majoritarian-proportional system,” Anatoly Bibilov added then.


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