The Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has signed the bill of amendments to the election system, calling the constitutional changes a serious step towards democracy and stability.
The Georgian parliament has passed an election bill drafted with the mediation of the diplomatic corps in its third and final reading earlier today.
I would like to thank the parliament, all its members, who supported or did not support the changes, because I am sure everyone actually supports these changes. This is a serious step towards our progress, democracy and stability, and also a serious step towards the election day that awaits us in October”, said Zurabishvili.
President Zurabishvili also talked about pardoning Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili. She noted that she made the decision for the purpose of maintaining stability in Georgia.
I consider myself responsible for doing our best to ensure that we reach election day normally. For this I have taken this serious step. I made this decision because it served the stability of the country, which has been strengthened today”, Zurabishvili said.
117 MPs voted for and three went against the bill which institutes a more proportional electoral system for this autumn’s parliamentary elections.
The United National Movement and European Georgia opposition parties refused to participate in the vote, stating that with the continued incarceration of the co-founder of opposition-minded TV channel, Giorgi Rurua, the ruling party ‘did not fully abide by the March 8 election agreement’.
The ruling party said that the opposition’s refusal to participate in the historic vote has once again proved ‘they are destructive’.
According to the new bill, 120 seats in the parliament will be distributed based on the votes received in proportional elections, while remaining 30 per the votes received in majoritarian elections. An election bloc or party which will receive less than 40.54 per cent of votes in the elections will not be able to form a government.