Ruling party responds to electoral turmoil, moves not to nominate candidates in particular election districts in 2020

The ruling Georgian Dream party says that the 2020 parliamentary elections will be held in a mixed-electoral system anyway. Photo: Georgian Dream press office., 25 Nov 2019 - 12:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party has responded again to ongoing electoral turmoil and stated that 2020 parliamentary elections will be conducted in a mixed electoral system and the “topic is closed.” 

However, the party said that it will not nominate its candidates in particular majoritarian districts in the 2020 parliamentary elections and will allow opposition candidates to win the race.

The statement made earlier today comes amid current tension in the country, sparked after the rejection of the GD-proposed election bill on November 14 which offered the transition to a fully proportional electoral system starting 2020 instead of 2024 [as the current state constitution reads].

The opposition, which accuses the ruling party of “deliberately rejecting” the bill, is demanding the 2020 elections be held per the German electoral system, under an interim government.

We have made a decision not to nominate our candidates in the majoritarian districts for 2020 where, apart from the United National Movement opposition party and its affiliated parties, the candidates of other opposition parties or independent candidates will be present, who will have the real chance to win the race,” the ruling party says.

The opposition is demanding the German model for 2020 election, which is a mixed electoral system, but allows parties to have as many MPs in parliament as many votes they receive in the proportional race. Photo: Nino Alavidze/ 

The GD states that “as usual” the opposition “is cheating people” when it says that the German electoral model does not oppose the current state constitution of Georgia.

The party has responded to the initiative of several, ruling party majoritarian MPs regarding the transition to a fully majoritarian elections, saying that “we have assured the MPs that no new electoral initiative will be discussed for 2020 elections.”

However, the ruling party says that the MPs "will continue work for this initiative" as voters will be able to express their view regarding the election reform either during the voting in the 2020 parliamentary elections or 2021 municipal elections.

 The party says that conducting the 2020 elections with a fully proportional electoral system was initiated by the Georgian Dream party.

The opposition has plans to block parliament work tomorrow. Photo: Nino Alavidze/  

Despite the efforts of the ruling party leaders, unfortunately, the bill has failed to receive mandatory votes [at least 113 votes in the 150-member parliament]. The result came because of natural resistance of majoritarian MPs to the bill and because of destructive actions of the opposition,” the ruling party stated.

The party says that as of now there is no resource to mobilize 113 votes for new constitutional amendments.

Accordingly, the electoral topic is closed and the 2020 elections will be conducted with a mixed-electoral system, in the full line with the highest, democratic standards.”

The party says that “thanks to the efforts of the ruling party alone” in 2017 the country will move to fully proportional elections starting 2024.

The United National Movement and its branches boycotted the process then and now the parties are standing in the streets to create threats for a peaceful and democratic development of the country.”

The ruling party says that it was the United National Movement leadership “which opposed the public will” back in 2008 and increased the number of majoritarian MPs from 50 to 75 and decreased the number of MPs elected in a proportional system from 100 to 75.

Later, in 2010, while discussing constitutional amendments, the United National Movement did not discuss and actually tabooed the issue on the transition to proportional elections,” the ruling party reports.

The opposition is scheduled to hold a rally later today.