No deal on 'German model', opposition to continue protest

Ruling party and opposition met today amid the recent developments in Georgia following the parliament’s rejection of an electoral bill which offered an early transition to a fully proportional electoral system starting 2020 instead of 2024. Photo: 1TV, 30 Nov 2019 - 18:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

Today's meeting between the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party and opposition over the current electoral dispute, facilitated by foreign ambassadors accredited in Georgia, has ended without results.

This was the first meeting between the opponents following the parliament’s rejection of an electoral bill which offered an early transition to a fully proportional electoral system.

Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani said after the six-hour meeting that so-called “German model” suggested by the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition is “anti-constitutional”.

The Georgian Dream is the team that places the country on the first place and, therefore, it is ready for the dialogue. However, our position that no constitutional changes are possible now, remains unchanged”, Tsulukiani stated.

Opposition representatives find nothing anti-constitutional in the “German model” of electoral system.

United National Movement leader Grigol Vashadze said the protest rallies will continue until their demands are met on holding 2020 parliamentary elections fully proportional instead of 2024 as it is written in the state constitution.

Vashadze said today’s meeting ended without results because the ruling party refused to discuss the electoral model offered by the opposition. Nevertheless, he said, the opposition is ready to continue a dialogue along with protest rallies.

Today's meeting comes amid protests in Tbilisi sparked by the rejection of the election reform bill on November 14. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Leader of European Georgia Giga Bokeria also said the protest will continue until the society receives what the ruling party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili had promised them in late June. 

Bokeria said, his party is ready to continue the dialogue over the changes in electoral system under the mediation of the foreign partners. 

Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze said GD is ready to give time to opposition to continue their protest within the legislation “as they wish”. 

Of course, we consider that no political agreement can be achieved that way”, Talakvadze said, noting that a political agreement can be reached only in “political formats”. 

One of the organisers of current protest rallies, Shota Digmelashvili said demonstrations will not end, rather “become sharper”. 

Diglemashvili considers that civic activists should have also been invited at today’s discussions, because as protests rallies are being organised by them, none of the politicians can promise the government the suspension of demonstrations on their behalf.