Members of European Parliament Welcome Georgia’s Electoral Reform Agreement

On March 10, four Members of the European Parliament (MEP) issued a joint statement welcoming the March 8 electoral system reform agreement between the ruling Georgian Dream and the opposition parties, which envisages introducing a parliamentary composition based on 120 proportional mandates and 30 majoritarian seats (change from 77/73 system).

The statement was co-signed by David McAllister (EPP, DE), Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee; Marina Kaljurand (S&D, EE), Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the South Caucasus; Sven Mikser (S&D, EE), The European Parliament’s standing rapporteur for Georgia, and Viola Von Cramon Taubadel (The Greens/EFA, DE), European Parliament’s lead member for democracy support activities in Georgia.

Highlighting the March 8 agreement as “a turning point in Georgia’s political life,” the European legislators congratulated all parties to the “sometimes arduous” political dialogue for “putting the greater interest of their country and their citizens first.” The MEPs further extended gratitude to the foreign diplomats for having facilitated the process through their “valuable mediation,” singling out Carl Hartzell, the EU Ambassador to Georgia.

The MEPs endorsed that the signatories’ commitment to holding free and fair elections and avoiding any actions “that could be interpreted as an inappropriate politicization of Georgia’s electoral or judicial processes.” Furthermore, they reiterated the significance of building trust in the judicial system and called to avoid any appointments to key positions “which would not be conducive to this process.”

The MEPs called on the Georgian partners “fully implement the agreement” and to ensure that the “corresponding constitutional amendments are adopted swiftly by their parliament and that the next elections are held in accordance with the recommendations issued by the OSCE/ODIHR.”

These steps, the European legislators concluded, would be decisive in further reducing the political polarization of Georgia and consolidating its democracy. They also stressed that pluralistic and balanced media are crucial for a smooth and successful electoral process.

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