EECMD Urges Speedy Discussion of Draft Law to Streamline Emigrants’ Voting

On February 29, Eastern European Center for Multiparty Democracy – EECMD called on the Georgian Parliament to expedite the discussion of the draft law aimed at streamlining the Georgian emigrants’ ability to vote. The draft bill developed by the organization and partner political parties was submitted to the Parliament on November 21, 2023.

The bill aims to allow Georgian citizens living abroad to vote remotely through online systems. According to the EECMD, over 860 thousand Georgians live outside the country, while only twelve thousand were able to vote in the last parliamentary elections. 

According to the EECMD, the Parliament has not yet begun to discuss the draft law, but has instead extended the period for committee consideration by a further 60 days. This is despite the fact that the EECMD’s explanatory note called for an accelerated debate, given that the Venice Commission’s recommendations state that all significant election-related reforms must be adopted a certain time before the election date.

“We call on the Georgian Parliament to start committee hearing of the above-mentioned draft law in order to increase the participation of Georgian citizens living abroad in the elections and to strengthen the confidence in the elected Parliament,” the organization said.

According to the explanatory note of the draft law, the EECMD believes that the low number of polling stations, which are usually located at Georgian diplomatic missions, and the long distances are among the main problems that make voting very difficult for Georgians abroad, and these challenges can be overcome by adopting the said draft law.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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