Opposition set to present electoral reform bill in parliament, requests ombudsperson to send it to OSCE

The opposition says it will register their bill in parliament either later today or tomorrow.  Photo: IPN. 

Agenda.ge, 03 Dec 2019 - 15:41, Tbilisi,Georgia

About 30 opposition parties, who have offered the transfer to ‘an adapted version of the German electoral model’ for the 2020 parliamentary elections, say they will register the bill in parliament in the coming days and are requesting  Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria send the bill to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) for evaluations.

The opposition says it will wait for the ODIHR’s assessment of the bill and its conclusion whether or not the bill is in line with the Georgian Constitution.

The bill was drafted after the rejection of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party proposed election bill on November 14, which suggested the early transition to a fully proportional electoral system starting from 2020 instead of scheduled 2024.

The opposition, which says that that GD “deliberately rejected the bill and cheated people,” is now demanding the 2020 elections to be held per their proposed bill which allows for the distribution of seats in parliament based on the votes received in proportional voting. 

Public Defender Nino Lomjaria says that she is ready to send the opposition bill to OSCE. Photo: Public Defender's press office. 

Lomjaria says that she is ready to send the bill to ODIHR after it is registered in the legislative body, “as it is a mandatory procedure.”

ODIHR has already been informed [by my office] that we intend to send the bill to them. However, initially, the bill must be registered,” Lomjaria says.

Ruling party MP and First Vice Speaker Giorgi Volski says that the “attempt of the opposition to get the ODIHR involved in the ongoing electoral row is serving the goal of stretching time, misinforming the people and maintaining tension.”

He says that the ODIHR has nothing to do with the issue.

While in Georgia the Venice Commission members said that the issue is beyond their scope of competence. Even if we allow the possibility of passing the bill, which is absurd, on the second day the Constitutional Court of Georgia may ban it and we will end up in an even more severe crisis,” Volski said.

The ruling party says that the electoral model offered by the opposition for the 2020 elections contradicts the Georgian constitution.