‘German Model’ Electoral System Does Not Contradict Georgian Constitution, NGOs Say

Following the current governments’ neglect of the promised constitutional amendment that would switch Georgia to fully proportional electoral system from 2020, the participants of the protests call for the modification of the current mixed voting system to resemble the ‘German model’.

To counter the initiative, the members of the ruling party assert that this model contradicts the Georgian Constitution.

Several NGOs have released a joint statement, claiming in reverse to the current governments’ standpoint that the ‘German model’ electoral system can successfully merge with the Georgian constitution.

“The modified version of the ‘German model’ does not contradict the Constitution of Georgia for the following reasons: according to the current version of the constitution, 77 MPs will be elected through proportional and 73 MPs through majoritarian election system in the next parliamentary elections. The constitution defines only the number of the proportional and majoritarian mandates. The rule for distribution of seats in both components is defined by the Election Code of Georgia, which provides distribution of seats in the proportional component independently of the majoritarian one. This circumstance allows the modified option of the ‘German model’ of mixed electoral system to be launched for the next parliamentary elections of Georgia through making the amendments to the Election Code so as not to alter the evenness of proportional and majoritarian seats in the Parliament, determined by the Constitutional of Georgia”, the statement reads.

The German electoral system is all about proportion. Holding to the limitation of absolutism as the axiomatic principle, the German model entails a type of mixed-member proportional electoral system. It gives voters the opportunity to choose both the majoritarian MP and the party list. In parliament, the distribution of seats between parties and the election blocs is based on the votes received through the proportional system.

Due to the joint standpoint of the demonstrators and the NGOs, there is no controversy in the replacement of the current electoral system with the modified version of the ‘German model’. The act will on the contrary allow fairer distribution of parliamentary mandates in line with both, the European standards of electoral law and Georgian constitutionalism. 

The statement is signed by the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED); Transparency International Georgia (TI); Georgian Young Lawyer's Association (GYLA); "Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)".

By Elene Dzebisashvili

18 November 2019 16:19