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Ivanishvili: 2020 Polls Proportional, Zero Threshold [detailed text]

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Bidzina Ivanishvili, the chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia (GDDG) said upcoming parliamentary elections in 2020 will be fully proportional with zero threshold.

The current Constitution which was adopted in September 2017, and further amended in 2018 foresaw mixed election to persist until 2024, while in 2024 the country was to pass to a proportional system with 5% threshold.

Ivanishvili made a special announcement after a political council meeting on June 24.

Key points of Ivanishvili’s statement follow:

– 2020 elections to be held through proportional system, with no threshold.

  • Georgian Dream was the one to initiate the Constitutional changes regarding the transfer to proportional system, as it better responds to multi-party democracy’s needs;
  • But we have decided that making this transfer to proportional system would be more advisable from 2024, when the parties have matured better. Especially, as the current, mixed system is also quite democratic…
  • But life brings changes and a responsible political force must adequately respond to challenges, hear the public;
  • We see that society demands change, and this initiative provides grounds for such changes.
  • At the same time, public demands should be followed by legal consequences:
    • Those who initiated mass violence, and those who exceeded their authority must be punished.
  • The key reason that induced us to take that decision is the readiness of our society, and especially of our youth to get actively engaged in governing the country and to take their share of responsibility.
  • So our political team is voluntarily relinquishing the advantage that the Georgian Dream possesses during the mixed system.
  • By-elections elections have proven that any candidate of Georgian Dream is winning without competition. Popular people want to enter 2020 elections under Georgian Dream banners and if 2020 elections are held through mixed system, it is highly likely that the Georgian Dream would win almost all first-past-the-post districts, thus reducing the chances of multi-party parliament. This might be in our party’s interest, but no longer responds to societal challenges.
  • Another reason for our decision are global and local challenges, of political and economic nature, which require wide public and political consensus, unity and sharing of responsibility.
  • As the Parliament session reopens, we are ready to consult widely, within and outside of the Parliament, with everyone who is ready to be politically active within the frames of Constitution and Laws.
Ivanishvili’s announcement followed a four-day protest in Georgia, triggered by the Russian delegation’s presence at a session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in the parliament’s plenary chamber on June 20.

Holding of 2020 parliamentary elections through proportional party-lists, as well as the release of those protesters who were detained that night and sentenced to brief prison terms for disturbance of public order and detention of those law enforcers who exceeded their duties, were among the major demands of the peaceful demonstrators.

They also demand resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia, held responsible for the police crackdown on the night of June 20 that left 240 people injured few of them gravely. However, the ruling party chairman did not say a word about Gakharia’s responsibility.

Protest rallies will resume today at 7pm at the Rustaveli Avenue in front of the parliament of Georgia.

For more follow our tag on Tbilisi protests

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

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