Georgia’s Election Campaign Season to Begin in June

TBILISI – The campaign for Georgia’s parliamentary election is set to begin officially on June 8, a full four months before voters go to the polls, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili announced Tuesday following meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the Chairman of the Central Election Commission.

Margvelashvili announcement is more in line with his original proposal to begin campaigning for the upcoming October elections in May. Kvirikashvili, however, sharply disagreed with the proposal and suggested a July start date for the campaign season.

"We cannot afford to pay an additional 7 or 8 million GEL (USD 3.5 million) just for the purpose of counting down the days until the election. We are discussing all of the technical and financial issues with the Central Election Commission and we will make a decision on when to formally launch the campaign cycle,” Kvirikashvili said.

Georgia’s constitution calls for parliamentary elections to be held in October, with the country’s president setting the exact date no later than two months before voters go to the polls,

Margvelashvili set the upcoming parliamentary election date for October 8.

The timing of the announcement was met with a mixed reaction from the country’s main political parties, with some complaining that the early announcement favors the ruling Georgian Dream party.

Margvelashvili defended his decision, saying that a long campaigning season will benefit all of the parties who plan to take part.

Under the constitution, the Georgian Parliament’s 150 members serve four-year terms, with 77 seats set by proportional representation and 73 in single-seat constituencies.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

Photo: OSCE/Jens Eschenbaecher

10 May 2016 21:03