Prime Minister: “It’s a political decision to hold Parliamentary Elections on October 8”

Georgia’s Prime Minister said October 8 was a good date for the 2016 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia. Photo by the Prime Minister’s webpage., 08 Apr 2016 - 12:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s President and Prime Minister made a political decision when they agreed that the upcoming Parliamentary Elections will be held on October 8, 2016.

Today Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said discussions between himself and President Giorgi Margvelashvili about the date of the election ended with the two officials agreeing the elections needed to be held in early October, as a later date might cause complications.

Explaining this further, Kvirikashvili said a second round of elections might be necessary, especially in the majoritarian contest, and this might face difficulties due to bad weather in mountainous regions in late autumn. 

If we stretched the election date to the end of October and if there was a need for a second round, preparing for a second round requires at least one month and this could cause problems for the mountainous regions,” said Kvirikashvili.

He stressed it was beneficial for election players to learn the exact date of the October elections early as this allowed political parties to plan a range of activities within their pre-election campaigns. 

Exactly when political players can begin pre-election campaigning is not yet decided, and consultations about this were currently underway, with the involvement of the Central Election Commission (CEC), said the PM. 

Kvirikashvili believed all parties should campaign their own policies however he did not approve of a long pre-election term, as millions of GEL in expenses would unnecessarily be spent from the state budget on official election campaigning expenditures.

After Kvirikashvili and President Margvelashvili met on April 5 and agreed the elections would take place on October 8, the President said political players would be able to begin their pre-election campaign from August 8. This would give political sides two months to campaign their policies before the Parliamentary Elections.

Kvirikashvili echoed these sentiments and said it was good to announce the election date early and give political parties plenty of time to prepare for their election campaigns, and he also agreed the late start of the pre-election campaign. 

This decision caused a stir within some opposition parties, who said August was a slow time for political campaigning pre-election campaigning due to holiday making and they would have only a month for informing voters about their intentions, programs and goals. 

Since the April 5 meeting, relevant documentation has been sent to PM Kvirikashvili to sign.

 Without his signature the President's  decision will not be valid.

 As of today he has not yet signed the document. He must choose to sign the document or not before Friday 15 April. If Kvirikashvili chooses not to sign it, the President must choose other dates, it can be both dates-election date and the pre-election campaign start day, or only the date related to the launch of the pre-election campaign.