18 Georgian NGOs: ruling party ‘must keep its promise’ to support electoral bill

Georgian NGOs say that the ruling Georgian Dream party may reject an electoral bill which offers a lower election threshold for the next two parliamentary elections. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 01 Dec 2021 - 13:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

Eighteen Georgian NGOs say in a joint statement that the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party ‘must keep its promise’ on a lower election threshold for the next two parliamentary elections and a fully proportional electoral system, and ‘must support’ the constitutional changes which were proposed in the April 2021 EU-mediated agreement. 

The NGOs say that GD allegedly has plans to reject the ‘vital amendments’ following its decision to withdraw from the agreement in July of this year. 

GD head Irakli Kobakhidze stated yesterday that the party ‘has no obligation’ to support the bill which was adopted on its first reading in September, noting that if the ruling party accepts the amendments ‘it will be a gift to the opposition.’ 

The NGOs say that the constitutional bill ‘serves state interests first of all’ and that GD must keep its promise to the public and the international community. 

The approval of the bill which will lower the election threshold from five percent to two percent and ensure a fully proportional electoral system will help more parties gain seats in the state legislature,” said the NGOs. 

They say that the opposition was ‘unanimous’ to support the bill on its first reading, which is ‘rare in Georgian politics.’ 

Rejecting the bill will further damage the polarized political environment in the country,” said the NGOs. 

Kobakhidze says that the existing electoral system, which offers fully proportional elections and a five percent election threshold starting 2024, ‘is in full accordance with international standards.’