Parliamentary Speaker explains constitutional changes for 2020 elections

Currently Georgia has a mixed electoral system with 77 seats in its 150-member parliament allocated proportionally under the party-list. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 06 Aug 2019 - 23:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Parliamentary Speaker Archil Talakvadze explained in details the ruling Georgian Dream party’s bill on holding the parliamentary elections in 2020 with a fully proportional voting system, with zero entry threshold. 

Talakvadze chaired the parliamentary group working on election reform yesterday. He said at a news briefing ahead of the meeting that the ruling party had announced of switching to the fully proportional system of elections in 2024. 

However, life has made changes to the timeframes and in line with the clear and bald initiative of society and particularly youths, we, as a democratic and responsible political team, took steps in response”, he stated.

Talakvadze said with its bill the ruling party aims:

  • to make politics more democratic, balanced and calm
  • reduce polarisation
  • leave more space for cooperation and business-like discussions

All 100 legislators of the Georgian Dream ruling party are ready to support proportional voting system in the 2020 parliamentary elections. Photo: Georgian Dream press office

What does the bill proposed by the Georgian Dream consider? 

Arcil Talakvadze said "the system of funding parties will be replaced with a fairer and more objective model".

  1. The party that wins at least one seat in parliament, will receive funding commensurate with the votes won in an election according to a new, transparent and easily understandable formula. 
  2. The parties that enter parliament on the basis of a party list, where one of each three candidates will be of a different gender, will continue to receive a 30-per-cent surplus.
  3. Free time on the air will be distributed equally to political parties. One party will be unable to cede their time to another party. Participation in TV debates will be equally accessible.

He also announced that 5,000 signatures will be needed to register a party and the ballot papers will be regarded as “invalid” of no electoral entity is marked or more than one electoral entity are marked.

We have the political will and readiness to carry out this important political reform”, Talakvadze said stressing the need for “support from the opposition and sharing the responsibility on their part”. 

Speaker Talakvadze said this is exactly why the working group is holding meetings “where a broad representation is ensured”.

Photo: Nino Alavidze/

On June 24, the Georgian Dream ruling party announced that the 2020 parliamentary elections will be conducted on the proportional electoral system, which has been one of the top demands of demonstrators gathered in Tbilisi since June 20.

The ruling party presented the format of the upcoming proportional vote on July 2 and stated all legislators of the Georgian Dream ruling party will support the proportional voting system in 2020. 

The opposition refused to attend the presentation but vowed to participate in all activities dedicated to the issue.

What is Georgia's current election system like?

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.