The October 8 Parliamentary Elections will be one of the most diverse in the history of independent Georgia, as a large number of political parties and blocs have registered for the race. Here you will find key information to help you better understand the election process.
This year there will be no Georgian Dream coalition in the election race. The coalition was established for the 2012 Parliamentary Elections and has since led the country from 2012-2016 – four years after the first peaceful transition of power in the history of independent Georgia. The coalition has since disbanded and parties will compete separately in the 2016 elections.
At these elections the country will have an unprecedented number of foreign observers.
The official name of the elections is 2016 Parliamentary Elections of Georgia.
Who will Georgian citizens vote for on October 8?
Voters in Georgia will elect the country’s unicameral Parliament as well as lawmakers for the Supreme Council of Adjara, the highest legislative body of the Adjara Autonomous Republic in the country’s west.
Parliament of Georgia
77 members of the Parliament of Georgia are elected through a proportional election system, while the remaining 73 are elected through a majoritarian election system.
Any MP candidate, who receives more votes than others and more than 50 percent of votes, is elected in the majoritarian election district. Mandates of MPs of Georgia are granted only to the party list that receives no less than 5 percent of total votes.
Adjara Supreme Council
The highest legislative body of the Black Sea’s Adjara Autonomous Republic has 21 vacant mandates.
Like nationwide electoral system, Adjara’s elections are also held under the mixed system – 15 seats are allocated proportionally under the party list contest, among parties and election blocs who clear the 5 percent threshold.
6 members of the local Parliament are elected in the Autonomous Republic’s 6 single-member districts. Successful candidates must gain more than 50 percent of total votes.
Who will take part in Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections?
19 political parties and 6 election blocs will compete in the Parliamentary Elections in Georgia on October 8.
The following political players made up Parliament of Georgia in 2012-2016:
- The Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia Party
- The Republican Party
- The Industrials Party
- National Forum
- The Conservative Party
- Our Georgia-Free Democrats Party
- The People’s Party
- The United National Movement Party (ex-members of the UNM created Girchi and New Georgia party ahead of this year’s Parliamentary Elections).
All of the above parties except for UNM were part of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition.
Meanwhile 11 political parties and 4 political blocs are registered for the Adjara Supreme Council Elections.
Unprecedented number of observers to monitor elections
54 international organisations are currently registered to monitor the local elections, while 91 local organisations are also registered to observe the elections in Georgia.
- OSCE/ODIHR (12 experts, 26 long-term observers +350 monitors)
- OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (a 50-person delegation)
- Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe ( a 36-person delegation)
- National Democratic Institute, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, International Republican Institute, International Society for Human Rights and many others
Local Non-Governmental Organisation monitors include:
- Transparency International Georgia
- International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy
- Georgia’s Young Lawyers’ Association and 57 more
73 media outlets have registered to broadcast the elections from polling booths around the country.
What has changed under the current Gov’t, since the 2012 Parliamentary race?
- Establishing a regional proportional system and proportionally redrawing electoral districts
- Raising the voting threshold for majoritarian seats from 30 percent to 50 percent
- Boosting equal participation – more gender-balanced electoral lists
- Creating an Inter-Agency Task Force on Free and Fair Elections
- Creating an Inter-Party Working Group on electoral process under the Prime Minister of Georgia
- Upgrading electoral lists to prevent fraud
- Abolishing military polling stations
- Reviewing the list of disabled voters and implementing voting facilitation measures
More than 3.5 million people are eligible to vote in Georgia in the upcoming elections.
Specifically, Georgia’s Central Election Commission stated 3,513, 884 people are registered to vote in October 8 elections.
Any citizen of Georgia aged 18 or over, who meets the requirements prescribed by the Election Code of Georgia is eligible to vote.
Any citizen of Georgia, having been declared incapable by a court of law, or is currently serving in prison/penitentiary institution in accordance with a court judgment, is not eligible to participate in the elections, except those with minor offenses.
People receiving support as an inpatient from a psychiatric facility are not eligible to vote.
September 17 – Registration deadline for voters who are not yet registered with relevant diplomatic mission of Georgia
September 28 – Deadline for local observing organisations to address the CEC for registration to monitor the elections
September 28 – Deadline for parties or candidates to withdraw from the race
October 1 – Deadline for international organisations wishing to monitor the elections to address the CEC for registration
October 8 – Election Day. Polling stations open at 8am and close at 8pm, local time
November 2 – Deadline for holding a second round of majoritarian MP elections (if no candidate gained more than 50 percent of votes in the first round).
October 27 – Deadline for the CEC to summarise first round of election results.
November 21- Deadline for the CEC to summarise second round of election results.