Georgian Dream makes unusual offer to opposition

Georgian Dream makes unusual offer to opposition

The ruling Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia party has made a new offer to the opposition at the today’s meeting, saying that they are ready for 100 spots in parliament to be elected via the proportional electoral system and the remaining 50 per the majoritarian system in the 2020 parliamentary elections. 

The new offer has been voiced by Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze.  

This will be a one-time change if approved by the opposition, as Georgia is scheduled to move to a fully proportional electoral system starting from 2024, reported.

The opposition is accusing the government of “deliberately rejecting” the bill and is demanding the 2020 elections to be held per the “adapted German model,” which distributes seats in parliament based on votes received in proportional voting.

Currently Georgia has a mixed electoral system, with 73 MPs elected in single-mandate constituencies [majoritarian elections] and remaining 77 based on proportional, party-list system.

Opposition parties, in turn, said that the new offer of the ruling party is "absolutely unacceptable and is another attempt to trick the people."

The head of the Center for Security Studies and International Relations of Georgia, Nika Chitadze, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, said that part of the opposition may demand the country's transition to the German model, but some may support the introduction of multi-mandate constituencies. "In addition, it is possible that some opposition members will agree that only 50 majorities be elected instead of 73," he said, adding that it is necessary to enlist the support of two-thirds of parliamentarians to to implement this scenario, since this option requires constitutional amendments.

"The option, when 50 deputies are elected per the majoritarian system, and 100 deputies are elected via the proportional electoral system, also requires constitutional amendments, which should be approved by two-thirds of parliamentarians," the expert drew attention.

Political scientist Gela Vasadze, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the opposition will turn down this offer well. "Everyone understands that Georgian Dream offers only things that will guarantee the preservation of its power. The opposition will not agree on this, especially since the situation has changed. The country has been in a state of constant stress for more than a month, and any miscalculation by the authorities causes an indignant cry," he said.

"Georgia’s international partners unequivocally say that the Georgian Dream is moving away from democracy and does not fulfill its promises. And no one forgot that the Georgian Dream came to power with the slogan of unprecedented democracy. With the failure to adopt the bill to transition to a fully proportional system of elections and the current very formal compromises the Georgian Dream is building afire under itself. The opposition will take advantage of this situation, especially since it has united all political forces, from extremely liberal to pro-Russian ones. They will team up against the Georgian Dream," Gela Vasadze concluded.