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Opposition Parties Agree to Petition for Proportional Elections

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Twenty-five opposition parties, including United National Movement, European Georgia, Labor Party, Development Movement, Free Democrats and New Rights, will petition the government for adopting the proportional system of parliamentary elections. The decision was announced on January 30, at a joint gathering of opposition parties.

In his remarks before the meeting, Grigol Vashadze of the United National Movement said the political parties “have united to make the electoral system as democratic as possible.”

“Proportional system will rule out the return of single-handed and single-party governance in Georgia and will ensure that we reach our foreign policy objectives in shortest period possible,” he noted, adding that the campaign to collect signatures will start in February and will cover the entire country.

Gigi Ugulava of the European Georgia spoke to reporters as well, saying the objective is to collect over one million signatures. Ugulava asserts this will press the government to change the system for the 2020 Parliamentary polls.

“The government will have to change the system that produces constitutional majorities – a curse for our country; they will have to change the system that makes people poor, undermines democracy, and produces corruption, nepotism and other problems,” Ugulava stressed.

According to the Constitution of Georgia, no less than 200,000 signatures are needed for introducing constitutional amendments.

Mamuka Katsitadze of the New Rights party, who will serve as the Parliamentary rapporteur for the amendment, spoke at the press briefing as well, saying the current system is unjust and enables election fraud. “In 2020, Georgian voters will have a fair system,” he noted.

Alexander Baramidze of the Free Democrats, the second rapporteur, told journalists that the objective is to collect “as many signatures as possible in order to make the Georgian election system truly democratic and fair.” Baramidze hopes civil society organizations and the international community will support the opposition campaign.

  • 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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