Opposition announces plan B for 2020 elections

Member of the European Georgia opposition party Sergi Kapanadze says that the opposition will continue rallies in Tbilisi tomorrow.Photo: parliament of Georgia press office. 

Agenda.ge, 03 Feb 2020 - 11:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

Opposition parties who have been demanding the 2020 parliamentary elections be held on a proportional or similar election system say they have a plan B if the upcoming elections are held per the mixed electoral system.

Leader of the European Georgia opposition party Sergi Kapanadze says that that the plan B means nominating joint opposition candidates for the majoritarian race.

If we have to do so, the ruling party will lose the elections even more sharply,” the Georgian Public Broadcaster cited Kapanadze as saying.

Kapanadze says that the opposition will continue demonstrations to make the ruling party ‘keep its promise,’ and allow the conduct of the 2020 elections per a proportional electoral system.

He said that demonstrators will gather at the Georgian parliament tomorrow.

However, we are ready for dialogue with the ruling party on the election issue and are waiting for our international partners to give us the date of the following meeting,” Kapanadze said.

Protests were sparked in Tbilisi in November 2019 after parliament rejected the ruling party proposed election bill on an early transition to a fully proportional electoral system starting from 2020 instead of speculated 2024.

The early transition was the promise given by the ruling party to the demonstrators in Tbilisi in June 2019, during the rallies which were triggered by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament.

The opposition says that they will gather at parliament tomorrow. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge. 

The opposition accuses the ruling party of deliberately rejecting the bill and is demanding the 2020 elections to be held per the “adapted German model,” which distributes seats in parliament based on votes received in proportional voting. 

Ruling party officials have dismissed the accusations, stating that they were unable to convince the party’s majoritarian MPs to vote for the bill.

In December 2019 the ruling party offered a 100/50 model to the opposition for 2020 elections, which distributes 100 seats proportionally and 50 seats based on majoritarian race in the 150-member parliament.

The opposition says that the model is ‘unacceptable.’

  • The ruling party and the opposition have already held four meetings mediated by diplomatic corps to reach a consensus for the upcoming elections.
  • The date of the fifth meeting has not yet been announced.
  • Currently Georgia has a mixed electoral system, with 73 MPs elected in single-mandate constituencies [majoritarian elections] and remaining 77 based on proportional, party-list system.
  • The ruling party says that if no agreement is reached with the opposition on 2020 elections, the elections will be held per the current, mixed system, while the country will move to a fully-proportional electoral model starting from 2024, as the current Constitution reads.