NGOs Urge Parliamentary Parties to Support Constitutional Amendment on Electoral System Change
During a special session on June 21, the Parliament of Georgia will consider pending constitutional amendments about the electoral system. The agreement reached between the ruling party and the opposition on the electoral system on March 8 is the result of significant efforts, to which the international partners that facilitated the political dialogue contributed greatly.
The agreed version is not ideal because it does not envision the move to a fully proportional system for the 2020 parliamentary elections. Regardless, given the existing reality, a parallel system with 120 MPs elected from party lists and 30 MPs elected from single-member districts is a step forward, as compared to the existing system it significantly increases the number of seats to be allocated under the proportional vote. The so-called 120/30 model creates possibility of a fairer and more proportional reflection of voters’ will in the legislature, which in turn would facilitate formation of a pluralistic, multi-party parliament and improve quality of democracy in the country.
Changing of the electoral system is not an interest of any single political subject but rather, it serves interests of Georgian citizens to live in a more democratic and stable country. A fair electoral system is not the sole but still one of the significant prerequisites on the road to overcoming challenges faced by the country and implementing reforms.
The ruling party’s failure to vote for the electoral reform package in November 2019 has already led the political process to a deadlock once. At least this time, it is important for both the ruling party and the opposition to act with higher responsibility regarding the issue of changing the electoral system. We urge the authorities to take all measures to make sure that the passage of the electoral system amendments is not under risk.
Even though we understand and share the concerns of some political parties about failure to fulfill the March 8 agreement to a full extent, we urge all parliamentary parties to support adoption of the constitutional amendments.
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy
Transparency International - Georgia
Open Society Foundation
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center
Georgian Democracy Initiative
Partnership for Human Rights