No early parliamentary elections to be held in Georgia

No early parliamentary elections to be held in Georgia

Secretary General of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze said that the authorities have no plans to hold early parliamentary elections despite the protests in the country.

He stressed that the 2020 parliamentary elections will be held with a mixed-electoral system. "The 2020 race will be conducted in line with the state constitution, top democratic standards and with the involvement of the international community," cited Kaladze as saying.

The mayor also has urged his opponents to get prepared for the election.

Kaladze said that the "real organiser" of the rallies, which kicked off in Tbilisi after the rejection of the bill last week, "is the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party with its branches, and their motivation is to stir unrest."

The Georgian parliament rejected the ruling party proposed bill on the move to the fully proportional elections last Thursday. It was followed by protests in Tbilisi. The protesters demand early proportional elections that will be held by a transitional government, as well as to release those detained during protests held on June 20-21.

A member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ Vakhtang Maisaya, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the Georgian Dream party decided to play tough, because it sees no opportunity for itself to win the elections under a proportional voting system. "The proportional voting system poses a real threat of loosing the majority to the Georgian Dream. Therefore, the party failed its own proposal, which was announced on behalf of the party’s chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili on June 24. However, according to the bill, the first elections under a proportional system were expected only in 2024, and in 2020 it would lower the barrier for parliamentary representation from 5% to 3% of the vote," he said.

At the same time, it is not yet clear how events will develop further, since Georgia has problems not only with the ruling power, but also with the opposition. "The core of the current movement is the United National Movement, the party of ex-president Saakashvili, but it does not have widespread support among the people. The new political center is the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, which alone was able to mobilize a significant part of its supporters on the eve. The APG has every chance to become a leader, because the population does not want to either return to the Saakashvili regime or remain under the Ivanishvili regime," Vakhtang Maisaya drew attention.

"As a result, there is a paradoxical situation when the population supports the ruling party less and less, but 20 opposition parties cannot take to the streets more than 15 thousand people in total, with 5 thousand of them supporting the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia. At the same time, many citizens are still ready to vote for the Georgian Dream, because there is small choice," the member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ added.