The ruling Georgian Dream party offers the opposition new proposal to solve the political crisis that emerged following the former’s backtracking on its key promise to transfer Georgia to fully proportional electoral system from 2020 instead of 2024. Georgian Dream proposes tweaking existing mixed electoral system, that envisages decreasing the number of places reserved for majoritarian MPs from 73 to 50, while the number of lawmakers elected through proportional party-lists should increase from 77 to 100.
Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze told media following the fourth round meeting between ruling party and opposition today that their proposal is a “compromise,” that was reached within the party following difficult negotiations. Haling the mixed electoral system as “democratic and balanced,” Talakvadze stated that “the compromise” should be adopted not only for 2020, but the future parliamentary polls as well.
Talakvadze’s words mark U-turn in the ruling party’s position, that enshrined transition to fully proportional polls from 2024 in the Constitution.
Speaker Talakvadze further noted that “fully proportional electoral system is the source of instability even in those countries … [such as] Germany, Latvia, Spain, Belgium and other highly developed states.” Talakvadze also brought an example of Israel, where in his words, “government formation is delayed due to transfer to [fully] proportional [electoral] system.”
“Taking into account the conditions [existing] in our country, the level of political polarization and the lack of tradition to find consensus [in Georgia],transferring to fully proportional polls [will be] accompanied with the risks of government crisis and destabilization of the country,” he noted, further adding that “for a type of country like [Georgia] mixed system is the best model.”
Speaker Talakvadze called on Georgian political spectrum to actively involve in the discussions, so that “to finish political turmoil about the issue” and to find consensus together with the international partners’ active involvement.