Legal Issues Committee Supports Bill on Proportional Election System

On October 28, Georgian Parliament’s Legal Issues Committee discussed two alternative packages of constitutional amendments initiated by the parliamentary majority and the opposition envisaging transition to fully proportional election system.

The opposition and ruling parties developed two independent constitutional bills. According to the constitutional amendments proposed by the ruling party, the 2020 parliamentary elections will be held through fully proportional system, with the so called natural threshold.

The opposition bill proposes to hold the next parliamentary elections through a proportional system with a 3% threshold. Unlike Georgian Dream’s version, the opposition’s draft also envisages the right to political parties to unite in blocs for elections.

The alternative drafts were presented by Anri Okhanashvili of the ruling party and Mamuka Katsitadze of the New Rights party.

MPs, including members of the parliamentary opposition, supported the Georgian Dream-sponsored bill. The opposition’s bill was voted down.

The discussion is now set to continue at the Parliament’s plenary session.

The Georgian Dream party announced about transition to fully proportional election system on June 24 after the dispersal of anti-Russian occupation rally in Tbilisi on June 20 triggered strong public outcry.  Holding elections through proportional system was one of the main demands of protesters.

Earlier, on June 13, the opposition parties submitted the constitutional initiative on transferring to the proportional election system to the Parliament, but the ruling party insisted 2020 elections to be held under existing mixed (proportional and majoritarian) system and that fully proportional elections would be held from 2024.

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