CoE official, PACE co-rapporteurs welcome Georgian ruling party’s offer on elections

The Council of Europe and PACE believe that moving to a fully proportional election system will benefit democracy and pluralism in Georgia.Photo: CoE., 26 Jun 2019 - 12:38, Tbilisi,Georgia

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlatean and Claude Kern, and head of the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Georgia Christian Urse have welcomed the offer of the ruling Georgian Dream party to introduce a fully proportional election system with a zero per cent threshold by 2020.

The introduction of a fully proportional election system before the next legislative elections take place has been a long-standing recommendation of PACE, so we strongly support this initiative”, Corlatean and Kern said.

They said that there will need to be a change in the transitional provisions of the Georgian constitution, “which is unlikely to succeed without the support of the opposition”.

Head of the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Georgia Christian Urse says that the change should be implemented with high consensus. Photo: CoE.

We call upon all stakeholders to give their full support to the change of the electoral system. We have seen that the introduction of a fully proportional system has often fallen victim to the lack of genuine cooperation between the ruling majority and the opposition. We sincerely hope that history will not repeat itself in this case,” they said.

Urse says that “we continue cooperation with all our partners in Georgia to improve the electoral system.”

Implementation of this initiative needs the involvement of all parliamentary actors to ensure that the constitutional amendments are adopted by the relevant majority,” Urse said in his statement released earlier today.

  • As of now Georgia has a mixed electoral system with 77 seats in its 150-member parliament allocated proportionally under the party-list among parties or electoral blocs which clear a 5 per cent threshold in the race.
  • The remaining 73 MPs are elected in 73 single-member districts, known as “majoritarian” mandates. A majoritarian MP candidate has to gain more than 50 per cent of votes to take a seat in the legislative body.
  • The new constitution of Georgia, which was adopted in 2017, and which came into play after last year’s presidential elections, reads that Georgia moved to fully proportional elections from 2024, which have been hailed as “unfair” by the opposition.