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Agreement reached between ruling party and opposition over election model

By Liza Mchedlidze
Monday, March 9
The ruling party Georgian Dream and united opposition have reached an agreement over the 120/30 ratio electoral model and signed a memorandum, officials stated after leaving the meeting.

The meeting of the representatives of the authorities and the opposition started at 2:00 pm on March 8.

The meeting was attended by Archil Talakvadze and Irakli Kobakhidze, Ambassador of Germany to Georgia H.E. Mr. Hubert Knirsch and the leaders of the opposition parties.

The opposition presented the following demands at the meeting: to cease the political persecution and get the proportional electoral system.

After the changes are enacted, MPs will be elected by 120 proportional and 30 majoritarian constituencies by 2020 parliamentary elections. All the parties that will overcome the one-percent barrier will enter the parliament.

The parties agreed that the party should receive at least 40 percent of the vote to form a government.

President Zurabishvili views the agreement between the government and the opposition as a victory for society.

"The agreement reached should be seen as a victory for the community. With this reasonable compromise and step, all conditions are created for a peaceful and fair election. Peace, stability, and democracy in the state are our common goals," Zurabishvili wrote on her official Facebook page.

EU Ambassador H.E. Carl Hartzell congratulated all parties involved in the negotiations on the electoral system. He said the agreement would be beneficial for everyone in Georgia and hopes it will be the beginning of depolarization.

"We are pleased to note that a successful outcome has been achieved. An agreement has been reached between the participants of the dialogue. We would like to take this opportunity and congratulate all the participants on their willingness to compromise," he said.

Georgian Dream leaders have also made some remarks regarding the ‘big victory.’ “Once again we will prove to everyone that the electoral system does not win and cannot win elections, only the support of the public wins elections,” Kakha Kaladze, Tbilisi Mayor stated.

Kaladze thanked diplomats and international partners for engaging in the dialogue between parties.