Ruling party makes deal with its majoritarian MPs, announces constitutional changes

The Georgian Dream ruling party says it has made a deal  with its majoritarian MPs who are demanding a fully majoritarian electoral system. Photo: Georgian Dream press office., 13 Dec 2019 - 13:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party has made an agreement with its majoritarian MPs who are proposing a fully majoritarian electoral system and announced constitutional amendments before the 2020 parliamentary elections. 

The party says that after the amendments take place, there will be no demands for a transition to fully majoritarian elections by its MPs. 

Ruling party MP Mamuka Mdinaradze stated after a party meeting earlier today that most of the GD members are against fully majoritarian elections. 

However, the party  “shared the fears” of its MPs [who propose fully majoritarian elections] that after 2020 parliamentary elections through the 2024 elections “there would be continued talks on snap parliamentary elections with a fully proportional electoral system [by the opposition] which would create political instability and help several political forces trigger artificial conflicts.” 

The opposition is accusing the ruling party of "deliberately rejecting" a bill on early transition to a fully proportional electoral system. Photo: IPN. 

 We agreed with our MPs proposing fully majoritarian elections that they will withdraw their initiative and instead we, the ruling party, will ensure the constitutional changes before the 2020 elections which will ensure that any possible snap election before 2024 to be held with a mixed electoral system,” Mdinaradze said. 

He stated that the parliament elected via snap elections between 2020 and 2024 will be eligible only before 2024 parliamentary elections, as starting from 2024 Georgia moves to a fully proportional electoral system, according to the Georgian constitution. 

He stated that if the ruling party fails to carry out the changes to the law, the majoritarian MPs will continue pushing forward their initiative and will demand a referendum, together with the 2020 elections, on the transition to a fully majoritarian elections. 

The agreement inside the ruling party comes amid protests of the opposition and civic groups in Tbilisi and regions, sparked by the rejection of the GD proposed election bill on November 14 which should have ensured an an early transition to a fully proportional elections starting from 2020 instead of scheduled 2024. 

Now the opposition is demanding the German electoral model for 2020 elections which distributes seats in the legislative body based on votes received in proportional elections.