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Parliament Speaker against coalitions and blocs in elections

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, February 2
Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze has pushed forward an initiative in the format of a special commission tasked to amend the state constitution that coalitions and blocs must not participate in any elections.

Kobakhidze says a note must be put in the amended constitution, which will ensure those parties to appear in the legislative body who are supported by the public.

Both parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition factions have already grilled the initiative, assessing it as a step taken against political parties and a wish of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition to remove opponents for upcoming elections.

Majority members have already backed the Parliament Speaker’s initiative, saying it was something expressed in the attitude of the voters.

“There are hundreds of political parties in such a small country as Georgia. Politics has in fact turned into a mechanism of employing people. This must be stopped,” majority MP Guguli Maghradze said.

She said instead the election threshold may be lowered for political parties for them to gain seats in parliament.

The parliamentary and non- parliamentary opposition have reminded the Georgian Dream that they managed to take office only after the creation of the coalition prior to the October Parliamentary Elections in 2012, when they managed to defeat the nine-year rule of the United National Movement.

The opposition parties stated that in many cases, creating coalitions and blocs for the elections is the only chance for them to qualify for Parliament and thus to survive.

The non-parliamentary opposition has called upon those in Parliament to strongly oppose the initiative.

A 72-member working group composed of political parties, NGOs, experts, politicians and court authorities was established in December last year to amend the Georgian constitution.

The group should provide the draft of amendments by April 30 this year, and it is chaired by Parliament Speaker Kobakhidze.