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“Two clear demands” to majority

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, August 22
Georgia’s opposition parties have stated they have sent “two clear demands” to the ruling party which must be reflected in the amended constitution.

The two demands concern the election system and the presidential elections.

The opposition demands a full move to proportional elections from the next 2020 parliamentary race, and electing the president through a direct vote by the people and not by a special council.

The statement came after the Georgian Dream ruling party had requested the opposition to write the demands they wanted to be accepted by the ruling party.

Achieving the agreement on the controversial issues meant the opposition supported the changes in the country’s main law, initiated by the Georgian Dream leadership and drafted by a special commission formed last year.

The amendments have already been voted on in parliament two times and had been supported by the majority, with only a final reading remaining in the legislative body.

However, the majority and the opposition failed to agree on several issues and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe appealed to the parties to find solutions.

In the draft of the amended constitution, the majority offered moving to fully proportional elections(meaning there would be no 73 majoritarian MPs in the 150-member parliament) after the 2020 parliamentary elections.

The draft also reads that indirect presidential elections will be held after the 2018 presidential race.

The remaining third hearing in parliament is generally for technical issues.

It is still unknown how major changes can be reflected in the draft through the third reading without the withdrawal of the draft law.

The Constitutional amendments were initiated by the current ruling party, as they believed the 2010 changes to the Constitution under the United National Movement authorities created a range of controversies and misbalance between different state institutions.

The ruling team promised to take the Venice Commission’s remarks into account before the approval of the changes in the legislative body.

At least 113 votes out of the 150-member legislative body are required to approve the changes.

The ruling party currently occupies 116 seats in Parliament.