GD Mulls Increasing Proposed 2% Election Threshold

Ruling Georgian Dream MP Shalva Papuashvili said there “there is no principal difference” between 2% and 3% election thresholds, discussing the constitutional changes that cleared the first hearing on September 7.

Papuashvili, who also serves as GD’s PR Secretary, told Palitra News on September 8 that although the governing party reckons the threshold should be lowered from 5% for the 2024 parliamentary elections, the exact number is still up do debate in the upcoming hearings.

Senior Georgian Dream lawmaker suggested that 3% barrier could also achieve the goal of increasing political diversity in the Parliament, a reason behind the amendment. Recalling 2020 general vote results, held with 1% threshold, he said with a 5% threshold only two parties would have received seats, while six and seven parties would enter the legislature with 3% and 2% barriers, respectively.

“Let us ponder if the representation of six parties would be enough,” he went on, adding that the ruling party plans to discuss the issue with opposition parties. “We cannot adopt any changes without consensus.” 

MP Papuashvili’s interview came a day after the Parliament endorsed the constitutional amendments envisaged in the EU-brokered April 19 deal, including the provision on reducing a 5% threshold to 2% for the next two parliamentary elections.

It would mark yet another deviation from the April 19 agreement, if the GD and opposition agree on passing 3% threshold instead of 2% in the next two decisive hearings. In the first hearing on September 7, GD backtracked on introducing the 3/5 vote for electing the chief prosecutor, a move that sparked strong EU and U.S. criticism.

The Georgian Dream quit the April 19 agreement in July, albeit vowed to implement reforms envisaged in the document. 

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