EPP ‘Strongly Disappointed’ by Georgian Dream Handling Political Crises

European People’s Party (EPP), the largest European-level political party of the center-right, is “strongly disappointed by the lack of political will of the ruling party to resolve the current political crises” in Georgia.

In the yesterday’s statement released following its Political Assembly meeting in Brussels on February 3-4, the EPP said it “remains a strong supporter of democracy in Georgia,” and “urges authorities to meet the demands of Georgian citizens, civil society, the opposition and friends of Georgia.”

Supporting negotiations on the electoral system between the government and opposition, facilitated by the international community, the EPP calls upon the Georgian ruling majority “to ensure the introduction of an electoral system that has the support and trust of all stakeholders and ensures maximum proportionality of parliamentary representation in time before the 2020 elections.”

It also calls on the Georgian government “to refrain from attempts to use the justice system against political opponents and to stop persecution of the opposition leaders.” “Georgia has great potential and it is in the interest of both Georgia and the EU that the country’s democratic achievements are not reversed,” the EPP stated.

In November 2019, with 101 votes in favor and three against, the Georgian Parliament has voted down the bill that envisaged transferring Georgia’s current mixed electoral system to fully proportional one from 2020, instead of 2024.

While all of 44 MPs of opposition parties supported the bill, Georgian Dream’s three lawmakers voted against the amendment and 37 abstained, making the bill fall short of the needed 113 votes, three fourths of sitting 150 MPs.

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