Ruling party says it may ‘gift’ lower election threshold to opposition

Head of the ruling Georgian Dream party Irakli Kobakhidze says that a lower election threshold will be dependent on the goodwill of the party. Photo: Georgian Dream press office., 30 Nov 2021 - 18:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party says that it may accept a two per cent election threshold for the next two parliamentary elections, noting that ‘it will be [a sign of] the goodwill of the GD and will be dependent on how the opposition will act.’ 

Head of the GD Irakli Kobakhidze says that the party ‘has no obligation’ to support the constitutional amendments which offer a lower election threshold according to the April 2021 EU-mediated agreement as the party withdrew from it in July. 

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, must 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 says that discussions around the amendments are temporarily suspended and ‘much will be dependent on the actions of various political players.’