US embassy disappointed by rejection of election bill

The US embassy stated that it welcomed the changes in the Georgian electoral system., 14 Nov 2019 - 18:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US Embassy to Georgia has stated that they are disappointed that the Georgian Dream ruling party proposed bill on the move to a fully proportional electoral system from 2020 has been rejected earlier today.

The embassy says that the US welcomed the Georgian Dream party’s stated intention to transition to fully proportional parliamentary elections in 2020 and considered this “an important step in advancing Georgia’s democratic development and strengthening trust among political parties.”

We are disappointed, therefore, that despite support from opposition parties, an insufficient number of Georgian Dream parliamentarians supported the required constitutional amendments in today’s vote."

The embassy urged all Georgian stakeholders, including the government, all political parties, and civil society, to work cooperatively in a calm and respectful manner to move forward in line with “our shared commitment to strengthening Georgia’s democracy.”

We again stress the critical importance of the passage of electoral reform legislation that incorporates the recommendations of international and local observer organizations for addressing shortcomings noted in the 2017 and 2018 elections in order for the next parliamentary elections to create a more level playing field for advancing Georgia’s political pluralism,” the embassy said.

The bill which offered to hold the 2020 parliamentary elections on a fully proportional voting system and with a zero per cent electoral threshold was voted for by 101 MPs instead of mandatory 113 earlier today.

Three MPs of the ruling party voted against and 37 others abstained from voting the bill which was drafted by 93 GD MPs in the summer.

Demonstrators and the opposition have blocked Rustaveli Avenue since the rejection of the bill.