PM Congratulates Those Who Voted for Constitutional Amendments

I would like to congratulate every member of Parliament on this result, everyone who voted for these constitutional amendments, who was able to put the country above his or her personal, selfish interests, - the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia told journalists after an event dedicated to the International Day of the Seafarer in Batumi.

The Head of Government stressed the political significance of the constitutional amendments noting that the Georgian Dream, the ruling team, was able to achieve full mobilization, despite the difficulties involved, and did what it had to do, "first and foremost, for the citizens, for the further democratization of this country, and for the irreversibility of Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations."

"For me, personally, these constitutional amendments, which bring us closer to a proportional electoral system, imply several significant achievements. First: this is an irreversible process that the political elite of independent Georgia has dreamed of since the 1990s. No one was able to do this, and the Georgian Dream achieved this, despite the difficulties involved. The government team was able to achieve full mobilization and to do what it had to do, first and foremost, for our citizens, for the further democratization of this country, and for the irreversibility of Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations. What is most important here is that Georgia's further democratization and Euro-Atlantic integration is irreversible, and this is what we have voted for. As regards those who did not vote for these legislative amendments due to certain selfish, narrow political interests, and who are justifying this by citing vague, moreover, criminal cases, this justification simply will not work with regard to our citizens. Once again, I would like to congratulate each and every person who voted for these constitutional amendments, regardless of which political force they represent, and to thank them," he noted.

The Georgian Parliament approved the draft constitutional amendments to the electoral system in the third hearing. 117 MPs supported the draft constitutional law on the amendments, while 3 representatives voted against.

Based on the draft amendments, the 2020 parliamentary elections will be held in 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, with a 1% threshold.

The draft amendments also stipulate the so-called 40% locking mechanism: 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 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 and 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 


Related Story: Parliament Approves Constitutional Amendments in the Third Reading

30 June 2020 17:48