Elections 2016: Twenty-six days before Parliamentary vote

The 2016 Parliamentary Elections will take place on October 8. Photo by N.Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Agenda.ge, 12 Sep 2016 - 14:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister has today issued a decree about the resignation of several officials ahead of next month’s Parliamentary Elections, as their continuation in official duties was a conflict of interest following their naming on the ruling party’s election list.

According to today’s decree those required to step down were Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Archil Talakvadze, Secretary of the State Economic Council Giorgi Gakharia, Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze, Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia, Deputy Minister of Corrections Tamar Khulordava and Kakheti region Governor Irakli Shiolashvili. 

All these people were named on the party or majoritarian list of the current ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party. 

Kaladze and Danelia announced their resignation on September 10, and this was officially approved by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili today. 

Political parties had until September 8 to present their party lists to Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC).

Georgia’s Election Code stated after the party lists were presented to the CEC, officials in conflicting positions must resign before September 11, as their continuation in their official posts in the pre-election and election periods contradicted the law, fairness and transparency of the elections. 

The list of politicians who were forced to resign to participate in the October 8 elections included cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, mayors, governors and several others in top roles. 

Meanwhile the CEC officially annulled the election registration of the election bloc Topadze-Industrials-Our Country, as they failed to present their party list before the September 8 deadline. 

The Industrial Party leader Gogi Topadze was a member of the Georgian Dream coalition, which defeated the nine-year rule of the United National Movement (UNM)-led government in the 2012 Parliamentary Elections. 

However this year the party intended to run separately from the ruling team. 

Georgia’s mixed electoral system

Georgia has a mixed electoral system in which 73 lawmakers are elected in 73 single-member constituencies. Generally known as a majoritarian mandate, candidates must gain 50 percent of votes in order to be an outright winner, otherwise a second round of voting must be held.

The remaining 77 seats in Parliament are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among other political parties who clear the five percent threshold in the nationwide vote.

The CEC stated 3,510,514 people were registered to vote in next month’s elections.

Thirty-one election subjects including 25 political parties and six election blocs will compete in the 2016 Parliamentary Elections on October 8.