Parliament Approves Constitutional Amendments in the Third Reading

The Georgian Parliament has approved the draft constitutional amendments regarding the electoral system in the third hearing.

As a result of the above, the 2020 parliamentary elections will be held in a model close to proportional.

117 MPs supported the draft constitutional law on the amendments, while 3 representatives voted against the proposal.

Based on the draft amendments, the 2020 parliamentary elections will be held under the context of a mixed electoral system (120 proportional, 30 majoritarian), meaning that the next parliament will be composed of 120 MPs elected under the proportional system and 30 MPs elected under the majoritarian system, and with a 1% threshold.

The draft amendments also stipulate the so-called 40% locking mechanism. Particularly, the party which receives less than 40.54% votes under the proportional system, will not be able to form an independent majoritarian government.

The National Movement and European Georgia factions refused to take part, claiming that the March 8 A agreement between the government and the opposition on the electoral system has not been fully fulfilled, as one of the leaders of the opposition Giorgi Rurua still remains in custody. 

On March 8, 2020, the opposition and the government agreed on the electoral system. However, the opposition claimed that part of the agreement was to release political prisoners.

Two leaders of the opposition, former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava and former Minister of Defense Irakli Okruashvili were released from custody on May 15, after being pardoned by the President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili. Giorgi Rurua, the founder and shareholder of the opposition-minded Mtavari Arkhi TV, still remains in custody, while the opposition claims that he is a "political prisoner" and demands his release "as part of the March 8 Agreement between the parties."

By Ana Dumbadze 

29 June 2020 13:14