U.S. Embassy Statement on Parliamentary Vote on Proportional Elections

Today, on November 14, the Parliament of Georgia rejected the bill on constitutional amendments relating to the electoral system in the first reading. So the activists of the movements 'It’s A Shame' and 'Change' have an ever-growing number of supporters in front of the Parliament building. The demonstrators are expressing their protest against the rejection of the bill, and much like they did back in June protests, they are demanding proportional elections.

The US Embassy has published a statement on these recent developments. Expressing the embassy’s disappointment in the lack of Georgian Dream parliamentarians supporting the change, the publication reads that the proportional parliamentary elections would be a great step forward. The statement urges the parties and civil society to cooperate to keep strengthening Georgia’s democracy.

“As we stated previously, the U.S. Embassy welcomed the Georgian Dream party’s stated intention to transition to fully proportional parliamentary elections in 2020 and considered this an important step in advancing Georgia’s democratic development and strengthening trust among political parties.
We are disappointed, therefore, that despite support from opposition parties, an insufficient number of Georgian Dream parliamentarians supported the required constitutional amendments in today’s vote. We urge all Georgian stakeholders, including the government, all political parties, and civil society, to work cooperatively in a calm and respectful manner to move forward in line with our shared commitment to strengthening Georgia’s democracy.
We again stress the critical importance of the passage of electoral reform legislation that incorporates the recommendations of international and local observer organizations for addressing shortcomings noted in the 2017 and 2018 elections in order for the next parliamentary elections to create a more level playing field for advancing Georgia’s political pluralism,” reads the U.S. Embassy statement published on their official website.

The US Embassy has also published a ‘Demonstration Alert’, warning the readers about the protest underway in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi. The statement also advises what actions to take: “avoid demonstration activity, exercise caution if in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests, monitor local media for updates, keep a low profile.”

“U.S. government personnel have been advised to avoid large crowds and demonstrations and to prepare for anticipated traffic delays and disruptions in that area,” states the demonstration alert from the US Embassy.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

Image source: US Embassy

14 November 2019 20:40