The Georgian Dream-led Parliament today re-elected Giorgi Kalandarishvili with 82 votes in favor and 2 against for a temporary six-month term as the chair of the Central Election Commission.
In a previous vote on the same day, Kalandarishvili failed to garner the support of the 2/3 supermajority, that would have secured him a full term five-year appointment. His opponent, Giorgi Tevzadze meanwhile received 18 votes in favor and 30 against.
The Parliament re-elected Maia Zaridze and Gia Tsatsashvili as members of the Central Election Commission for temporary sixth-month terms, with 80 and 78 votes, after they also failed to receive the support of the 2/3 of the Parliament members in the previous vote.
Kristine Kajaia, Levan Isakadze the other two contenders for the membership seats received two and zero votes.
Kalandarishvili, Zaridze and Tsatsashvili had served at the positions temporarily since August 2021, as they did not garner the opposition’s support back then either.
The requirement for the supermajority was introduced to the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure in line with the EU-mediated April 19 agreement between the ruling Georgian Dream party and opposition parties, while the rule of six-month appointment with a simple majority was adopted as part of an anti-deadlock mechanism.
On December 17, however, the ruling Georgian Dream lawmakers scrapped part of the EU-brokered anti-deadlock mechanism that envisaged 4-weeks-long time frames between four repeated votes on the candidates, potentially spanning the process across four months.
With the December amendments, that defied April 19 deal, if the 150-member Parliament fails to elect the CEC chair or members with the 2/3 supermajority, a simple majority of 76 votes soon after the first voting could appoint a chair for a six-month term.
Georgia is set to hold by-elections on April 2 in Georgia’s coastal city of Batumi and the southern city of Rustavi. Voters will elect a majoritarian member of Parliament in Rustavi, while Batumi residents will vote in a majoritarian member for the City Council (Sakrebulo).