Electoral reform agreement bill tabled - what’s in it?

  • The election bill was registered late yesterday. Photo: Imedi TV.

Agenda.ge, 12 Mar 2020 - 17:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

A bill has been registered in parliament per the agreement of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party and the opposition on March 8. 

The opposition says that the bill, which was initiated by the ruling party, reflects the agreement with GD on how to hold the 2020 parliamentary elections. 

According to the bill: 

  1. 120 seats in parliament will be distributed based on the votes received in proportional elections, while remaining 30 per the votes received in majoritarian elections. 
  2. The mandates in the proportional elections will be distributed among the parties, election blocs, which will receive at least one per cent of votes. 
  3. Blocs will be allowed in the 2020 elections. However, with a different election threshold. The percentage of votes received by election blocs must at least amount to 1 percent x number of the parties in the bloc. 
  4. The mandates of political parties or election blocs will be accounted in the way: The number of votes received by political parties or election blocs will be multiplied with 120 and divided on the whole number of votes received by all political parties or election blocs who will overcome the election threshold. 
  5. The undistributed mandates will be distributed among the political parties and election blocs who will show the best results in the elections. 
  6. The election bloc or the party which will receive less than 40.54 per cent of votes in the proportional elections will not be able to form a government.
  7. If a party or an election bloc receives more votes in the proportional elections than it is needed for the formation of government, the votes will be translated into mandates for other parties or election blocs who will overcome the election threshold. 
  8. 30 single mandate election constituencies will be formed, eight in Tbilisi and all the other in the regions. 
  9. Any snap parliamentary elections if they take place before 2024 parliamentary elections [when the county moves to a fully proportional electoral system according to the Georgian constitution] will be held in the way as the 2020 elections. However, the parliament elected via the snap elections after 2020 will function only before 2024, as Georgia must have parliamentary elections in 2024. 

The opposition says that they ‘mostly like’ the bill. 

The United National Movement opposition says that the ruling party refuses to fulfil the part of the election agreement and 'release political prisoners.' Photo: parliament of Georgia press office.

Leader of the European Georgia opposition Giga Bokeria says that one issue is unclear for him, on how additional mandates will be distributed between political parties or election blocs if another party or an election bloc receive more than 40.54 per cent of votes in the proportional elections. (see 7). 

However, it is a minor issue,” Bokeria said. 

The United National Movement opposition, which was among the parties which made the election agreement with the ruling party, says that it will boycott public discussions around the bill as the ruling party ‘is not fulfilling another part of the agreement which concerns the release of political prisoners.’ 

The ruling party says that it is ‘perfectly fulfilling’ the agreement and that there are no political prisoners in the country. 

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