Ruling party after rejection of bill: public support wins elections not an electoral system

2020 parliamentary elections will be conducted with a mixed electoral system. Photo: Georgina Dream press office., 15 Nov 2019 - 15:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party says that public trust and support and not electoral systems wins elections, responding to the tension triggered after the rejection of the GD proposed election bill yesterday, offering the transition to a fully proportional electoral system from 2020 instead of 2024.

Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze has stated on behalf of the ruling party earlier today that “it is sad” 40 MPs of the ruling party refused to vote for the bill, promising that the country will conduct “very transparent and  fair elections in 2020,” with a mixed electoral system.

The election reform is still in progress, and with the maximal fulfilment of OSCE recommendations, it will lead to even more transparent and fair election environment for the next year,” Talakvadze said.

He has advised the opposition to get prepared for the elections “instead of taking to the streets, creating tension and staging provocations.”

Public trust and not an election system wins the race,” he said.

Talakvadze stated that the ruling party “will provide further explanations” for international partners on why the bill was rejected.

Talakvadze has stated that it was sad the bill was rejected. "However, the holding of 2020 elections with a mixed electoral system is not the ending of the world." Photo: Archil Talakvadze's press office. 

He said that it was “the personal and free decisions” of the 40 ruling party MPs not to vote for the bill and we “respect their decision, despite it is sad the bill was not passed.”

Talakvadze said that those ruling party MPs, who left the party after the rejection of the bill, “are likely to cooperate with the ruling party in making important decisions”.

He said that the ruling party meeting is scheduled tomorrow and the “public will learn more” around the issue then.

The ruling party accepted the conduct of 2020 parliamentary elections on a fully proportional system amid the June public protests in Tbilisi, as it was one of the three demands of demonstrators to stop rallies.

The ruling party proposed bill on holding 2020 parliamentary elections per a fully proportional voting system and a zero per cent entry threshold was scrapped yesterday as only 101 MPs voted for it instead of mandatory 113 in the 150-member parliament [where the GD has less than 100 MPs].

Vice Parliament Speaker of Georgia Tamar Chugoshvili, and 11 fellow MPs have left the Georgian Dream ruling party after the rejection of the bill, while demonstrators and the opposition blocked Rustaveli Avenue in protest.

Demonstrators, who are demanding snap proportional elections conducted by an interim government, vow to offer an “outcome” to the government from the situation later today.