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EPP, S&D Disappointed, Concerned by Georgia MPs Downvoting Constitutional Amendment

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European People’s Party (EPP) and Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D) have released separate statements over the Georgian Parliament’s recent failure to pass the constitutional amendment envisaging transition to fully proportional electoral system from 2020.

EPP stated on November 19 that it is “strongly disappointed by the cynical and unfaithful step of the ruling party.” “All Georgian political parties, supported by the international community, agreed that a proportional system is necessary for a pluralistic political environment, while the existing mixed system is rightly criticized for producing super majorities,” EPP stated

Laying the responsibility “for the political crises” in Georgia “entirely on the current government,” EPP urges Georgian authorities to “abstain from the use of force, to respect the right of freedom of assembly and to consider political solutions on the table.”

“The failure to find a compromise will put the country on a dangerous path, resulting in severe disappointment for Georgia’s friends and only those who want to derail Georgia from its Euro-Atlantic path will benefit,” the statement concludes.

With 101 votes in favor and three against, the Georgian Parliament voted down the bill that would change Georgia’s mixed electoral system to fully proportional one from 2020, instead of 2024. While all of 44 MPs of opposition parties supported the bill, Georgian Dream’s three lawmakers voted against the amendment and 37 abstained, making the bill fall short of the needed 113 votes, three fourths of sitting 150 MPs.

Following the failure, on November 15, 29 local civil society organizations, together with 19 civic activists, urged PES, (which includes Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party among its observers as well) “to take immediate and adequate actions” in response to the “grave challenges to the pluralistic and participatory democracy” in Georgia.

S&D, which is the political group of PES in the European Parliament, is also “very concerned about the latest developments in Georgia.” “Electoral reform legislation, which was initiated by the Georgian Dream party, is key to strengthening the country’s democracy,” S&D Group tweeted yesterday, expecting “all parties to deliver on this promise to the Georgian people.”

MEP Ana Gomes (Portugal, S&D) expressed her “full support for the brave people of Georgia fighting against oligarchy for European values: human rights and the rule of law” in a separate tweet as well. Gomes called on the European Union to “vocally and practically support them too.”

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

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