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Parliament Fails to Elect CEC Chair, Members for the Third Time

The Parliament has failed, thrice in a row, to elect Central Election Commission (CEC) Chair and two members, this time with a 3/5 majority vote.

The three candidates the Georgian Dream lawmakers backed – Giorgi Kalandarishvili for chairpersonship and Maia Zaridze and Gia Tsatsashvili for membership – received 81, 78, and 77 votes, respectively, and are expected to be elected in next week’s voting, which will require a simple majority, 76 votes.

If the appointments go through with a simple majority they will serve for six months, as the new election legislation says any CEC candidate elected without support from 2/3 of Georgia’s 150 lawmakers are bound for a temporary term instead of the regular five years.

The previous three votes, with 2/3, 2/3, and 3/5 thresholds, respectively, all failed as the opposition MPs have refused to back the three.

Three other candidates, Giorgi Santuriani for chairpersonship and Tamar Sartania and Lela Taliuri have received minor support in the three past rounds of voting.


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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