Ruling party, opposition agree on 120/30 electoral system for 2020 parliamentary polls

  • Before reaching the agreement earlier today, the opposition and the ruling party have held four meetings, facilitated by diplomatic corps, to reach a deal on the 2020 elections. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 8 Mar 2020 - 21:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ruling Georgian Dream party and the united opposition have reached an agreement on holding the upcoming parliamentary elections this October with 120 seats in the legislative body to be distributed via a proportional vote and the remaining 30 via the majoritarian system.

The agreement also foresees a fair composition of election districts, a 1% threshold, and a cap recognising that no single party that wins less than 40% of the votes should be able to get its own majority in the next parliament.

In a memorandum of understanding issued after the meeting, the political parties declared “full support” for the above changes and commitment to ensure their affirmative votes in the Parliament “to pass the constitutional amendments”.

The undersigned parties have also jointly stated that the ongoing dialogue aimed to ensure “free and fair” parliamentary elections in 2020 “that reflect the will of the Georgian people”. 

While differences remain, we all agree on the necessity of addressing actions that could be perceived as inappropriate politicisation of Georgia’s judicial and electoral processes and of avoiding any such actions in the future”, the parties said in a joint statement earlier today. 

They also welcomed Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili’s offer “to facilitate, within her constitutional powers, a free, fair, and transparent electoral process”.

Tbilisi Mayor and ruling party Secretary General Kakha Kaladze has shared the news on Twitter:

Foreign diplomats, who have been facilitating the political dialogue between the ruling and opposition parties for a couple of months now, have congratulated the participants on today’s “successful agreement”.

They said this agreement “represents a crucial step towards depolarisation and normalisation of the political environment in Georgia in the run-up to the parliamentary elections later this year”.

We recognise today’s agreement as a stepping-stone on Georgia’s democratic path.  We call on all sides to adhere to it and to safeguard its successful adoption in Parliament and subsequent implementation, for the benefit of the people and country of Georgia”, the facilitators stated.

Head of the European Union delegation to Georgia, who was one of the facilitators of the political dialogue has welcomed the dialogue on Twitter:

United States Congressman Adam Kinzinger has also congratulated the Georgian people:

  • The issue of 2020 elections was raised after parliament rejected the ruling party proposed election bill in November 2019, which allowed an early transition to a fully proportional electoral system starting from 2020, instead of scheduled 2024. 
  • In June 2020, during protests in Tbilisi, the ruling party promised early transition to a fully proportional system and proposed a bill. However, in November 2019 many of the ruling party majoritarian MPs voted down the bill. 
  • The opposition, which said that the majoritarian elections are unfair and benefiting ruling parties, accused the GD of "deliberately rejecting the bill" and took to the streets, while the ruling party officials said they were also disappointed with the rejection and failed to persuade majoritarian MPs to vote for the bill. 
  • Before reaching the agreement earlier today, the opposition and the ruling party have held four meetings, facilitated by diplomatic corps, to reach a deal on the 2020 elections.