Parliament Again Fails to Elect CEC Chair, Members

The Parliament has failed, for the second time, to elect Central Election Commission Chair and two members with a 2/3 majority vote, thus the candidates will only serve a temporary six-month term if appointed in subsequent votings.

Chairpersonship candidate Giorgi Kalandarishvili, and membership nominees Gia Tsatsashvili and Maia Zaridze could not garner the 100 votes out of total 150 needed, despite receiving support from the ruling Georgian Dream party. The three have been endorsed for election by the Parliament’s Legal Issues Committee.

Three other candidates, Giorgi Santuriani for Chair, and Tamar Sartania and Lela Taliuri for membership, received minor support in today’s plenary session.

The third round of voting is set to take place no later than a week, and the candidates will need to pass the 3/5 majority, 90 votes in total. The governing party, with its 84 lawmakers, will need at least six opposition legislators’ backing for a successful vote, otherwise another round will be called that will require only a simple majority.

The previous vote failed on July 18, in an extraordinary parliamentary session.

The 2/3 majority threshold and the anti-deadlock mechanism were introduced under the new election legislation, amended in June as per the EU-mediated April 19 agreement between the GD and opposition parties.

CEC Chair Tamar Zhvania resigned soon after, on July 1, to allow the parties to elect a new candidate as part of a “wider political compromise.” The two membership seats became available after new rules increased the number of “professional” CEC members from six to eight.

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