The President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, vetoed the amendments adopted in the “Election Code”, which change the procedure for electing the CEC chairman and members.
The administration of the President states that with the changes, the selection and presentation of candidates will be done by the Chairman of the Parliament, and the election will be made by the majority of the Parliament, which means it will be a one-party decision.
The President proposes to Parliament that the Chairperson and members of the CEC be elected with no less than 90 votes, as happened in the case of the Public Defender.
“According to the current edition, an independent and non-partisan official, the President of Georgia announces the competition and creates a candidate selection commission. The President presents the selected candidates to the Parliament.
According to the changes, the creation of the commission, the selection and presentation of candidates will be done by the Chairman of the Parliament, and the election will be done by a simple majority of the Parliament, which means a one-party decision.
Electing the chairman and members with 76 votes instead of 100 eliminates the need for consensus-based decisions and increases the risk of polarization.
The veto serves the purpose of maintaining this consensus.
“This is necessary to maintain and strengthen trust in the elections and election administration,” the statement reads.