Georgia changes Constitution

Georgia changes Constitution

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

The Parliament endorsed constitutional amendments with 117 votes in favor and 3 opposed in a third and final round of voting on June 29, clearing the way for reforming the electoral system in the run-up to the parliamentary polls due in October, reported.

Opposition lawmakers from United National Movement and European Georgia parties boycotted the vote.

The freshly-approved amendments will introduce a parliamentary composition based on 120 proportional and 30 majoritarian seats, and fix the election threshold at 1% of votes.

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."