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Commission Meets to Organize Public Debate on Election Reform

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On 4 September, a multi-party commission to organize public debates on the change of the election system has met for the first time, to discuss the format and time-frame of the planned discussions.

Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze chairs the commission. He said a total of 11 public meetings will be held countrywide, starting on September 13, although the venue is yet to be determined. 

The commission members are:

  • Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze
  • Speaker’s Advisors: Tengiz Sharmanashvili and Tornike Cheishvili.
  • Vice-Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili,
  • From the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG): Anri Okhanashvili, Mamuka Mdinaradze, Irakli Kobakhidze and Levan Koberidze;
  • Alliance of Patriots: Irma Inashvili;
  • European Georgia: Sergi Kapanadze, Otar Kakhidze and Khatuna Gogorishvili; 
  • United National Movement: Tina Bokuchava;
On June 24, 2019, GDDG leader Bidzina Ivanishvili conceded that the current, mixed election system will be replaced by fully proportional, party list election system starting from 2020, rather than 2024, as originally intended. This was one of the demands of the protesters that hit the streets on June 20 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.

The change would require an amendment to the transitional provision of the Constitution, which needs support of at least two thirds of sitting MPs (113 votes) in three hearings. Since GDDG has lost its constitutional majority several months ago and currently has 106 MPs, it will need the opposition’s support to pass the change.

The version of the Constitution, adopted in September 2017, and further amended in 2018, foresaw a proportional system with 5% threshold to kick in starting 2024.

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

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