GD head: ruling party has ‘no obligation’ to support election bill at a lower threshold

Head of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kobakhidze, says that the ruling party will discuss whether or not to support constitutional amendments on electoral issues. Photo: Irakli Kobakhidze’s  Facebook page., 02 Nov 2021 - 17:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

Head of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party, Irakli Kobakhidze, says that the party ‘has no obligation’ to support the constitutional amendments which offer a lower election threshold for the next two parliamentary elections. 

The approval of the bill requires the support of at least 113 MPs in the 150-member state legislature, which means that both the ruling party, which has 90 MPs, and the opposition, should support it. 

The bill, which says that the next two parliamentary elections must be held with a two percent election threshold and on a fully proportional electoral system, was approved with its first reading in early September, 2021, with two readings still ahead for final approval. 

Kobakhidze earlier reminded the parliamentary opposition that the constitutional amendments were a result of the ruling party’s 'goodwill’, as the GD withdrawn from the EU-mediated agreement in July 2021.

The Georgian parliament approved the bill with its first reading in early September 2021. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda,ge. 

The EU-mediated  agreement signed by the ruling party and the majority of opposition parties on April 19, 2021 obliged the signatories to carry out large-scale electoral and judiciary reforms. 

Kobakhidze stated earlier today that ‘there is no necessity’ of passing the bill, as, according to already adopted amendments, Georgia will move to a fully-proportional electoral system with a five-percent election threshold starting in 2024. 

The model we already have for the 2024 parliamentary elections is right and legitimate. Parliament will discuss the current bill and decide whether or not to approve it,” Kobakhidze said. 

The opposition supports the bill, saying that it is a chance for Georgia to have a multi-party parliament. 

Lelo - Partnership for Georgia faction, which has boycotted the parliament due to former president Mikheil Saakashvili, said its MPs will appear in parliament to vote for the bill when it is set for the second reading. 

The date for the second reading has not been scheduled so far.