NGOs negatively assess Irakli Kobakhidze’s statement on constitutional amendments
The signatory organizations consider the statement of Irakli Kobakhidze, the chairman of the Georgian Dream, about the possible suspension of the discussion on the Constitutional amendments and the reduction of the election threshold damaging to the democratization process in the country.
On April 19, mediated by Charles Michel, the Agreement reached between the parties provided an ambitious electoral reform, including holding the next parliamentary elections in a fully proportional system and introducing a natural or, at most, a 2% threshold for the next two parliamentary elections.
"Georgian Dream" continues to refuse to fulfill its obligations after leaving the Agreement. Despite adopting the relevant amendments in the first reading, Irakli Kobakhidze questioned the continuation of support for the Constitutional reform, saying that even if it is adopted, it would be a gift for the opposition.
The signatory organizations believe that the promise made by the ruling party to the international and local partners and to the public to improve the level of democracy in the country, must be fulfilled, as it is the primary obligation of the ruling party. Immediate implementation of a fully proportional system and reduction of the electoral threshold is in the interests of not only the opposition, but also of the country and it will help adequately reflect the interests of different groups in the legislature, as well as strengthen pluralism.
It should be noted, that the constitutional amendments were adopted unanimously in the first plenary session with the support of the opposition parliamentary parties, which is a rare and welcomed practice of cooperation and reaching an agreement between the parties in the Georgian political space. Refusal to continue the reform, will damage the already polarized political environment in this way as well and call into question the credibility of the ruling party.
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Transparency International - Georgia
Society and Banks
Economic Policy Research Center
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association,
Georgian Democracy Initiative
Open Society Foundation Georgia
Atlantic Council of Georgia
Institute for Democracy and Safe Development
Georgia’s Reforms Associates
Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International studies
Social Justice Center (Former EMC)
Media Development Foundation
Institute for Development of Freedom for Information
Human Rights Center
Center for Research Journalism and Economic Analysis
Tolerance and Diversity Institute