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European Georgia Calls for Opposition Coordination over Proportional Elections

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Gigi Ugulava of the European Georgia said his party wants more coordination of opposition parties for pressing the Georgian Dream authorities on adopting the proportional system of parliamentary representation.

Speaking at a special briefing on December 17, Ugulava, the general secretary of the European Georgia, said the opposition parties “need to put aside differences and focus on the core solution – fighting for proportional elections.” Ugulava said there has to be “a joint [opposition] platform” for that purpose.

He also stressed that the public wants to see “a more active, a more radical opposition.” “We need to resort to various forms of political struggle, including street rallies, as well as other, innovative and creative means,” he said.

“We need to travel the country and explain to the people that they live poorly because the authorities are brazen, that the authorities are brazen because they have hijacked the constitutional majority, that they live poorly because we do not have a proper political system,” Ugulava added.

“This is a very laborious effort, this is an effort that requires from the opposition parties to do their [individual] homework within their abilities, their scope, and with their voters, but do so in a coordinated manner … we need to show to the authorities that more than one million people are in favor of this change,” he noted.

The opposition politician then called on President Salome Zurabishvili to voice her opinion on the issue. “Zurabishvili has to state whether she supports the transition to proportional elections now, whether she shares the demands of the vast majority of the public,” he said.

Ugulava commented on the December 16 rally as well, telling reporters that the authorities’ handling of the opposition protest was “a gross violation” of Georgia’s constitution. “The police was given an illegal and politically-motivated instruction to hamper the people’s free and peaceful expression of protest,” he said.

  • According to the new Constitution of Georgia, the country will transition to fully proportional parliamentary representation beginning from 2024.
  • The 2020 Parliamentary polls will be held using the current mixed electoral system, where voters elect 73 MPs in majoritarian, single-seat constituencies, while the remaining 77 seats will be distributed proportionally in the closed party-list contest.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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