Georgian Dream coalition promises greater equality for 2016 Parliamentary Elections

  • The number of voters in the largest district of Georgia is more than 150,000 while in the smallest district there are less than 6,000 eligible voters.
Agenda.ge, 31 Aug 2015 - 14:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ensuring equality in all election districts for the upcoming 2016 Parliamentary Elections is one of the focus areas of the Election Reform, revealed the ruling Government today.

A statement released by the Georgian Dream coalition about the Election Reform noted the coalition parties will draft a bill over election amendments and present it to the legislative body before the end of the winter season.

One of the suggested amendments envisaged ensuring the equality of election districts for the upcoming 2016 Parliamentary Elections.  

The existing majoritarian system over-represented voters from small election districts by giving districts with greatly differing populations one Member of Parliament (MP) each. 

As a result, the number of voters in a district may vary from a few thousand to over 100,000 – yet they both get to elect one majoritarian MP. That meant the strength of one vote in one district could be multiple times stronger than one citizen’s vote in another district.

Currently the number of voters in the largest district is more than 150,000 while in the smallest district there are less than 6,000 voters.

In the statement Georgian Dream claimed the "deviation” from international standards in this regard would equal 10 percent and 15 percent "only in exceptional cases”. 

The party also suggested implementing a threshold of 50 percent for the majoritarian race, as 73 MPs from the 150-seat Parliament were elected through the single-mandate constituencies, while the remaining seats were distributed based on a party-list proportional vote.

The political party stressed the high barrier would promote a tougher competition and worthy nominees. 

In the statement Georgian Dream stressed it was open to consult and cooperate with all interested sides. 

Opposition parties United National Movement (UNM) and Free Democrats responded to the proposed amendments and noted the changes would not be beneficial for the country’s election environment, as they were "superficial.” 

The two sides stressed the majoritarian race should have been rejected and wholly replaced by the proportional model of voting. However, through the solution of the current state administration, the process was postponed to the 2020 Parliamentary Elections.

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