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We call on our Georgian partners to fully comply with electoral agreement – MEPs

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Wednesday, March 11
MEPs comment on the achievement of a memorandum on the electoral issue between the opposition and the authorities. They call on Georgian partners to fully implement the agreement and adopt constitutional amendments:

“The next election should be held in line with the recommendations of the OSCE / ODIHR, as the move will reduce political polarization. Recall that a pluralistic and balanced media is essential to a successful electoral process,” reads the statement of MEPs.

MEPs in the letter congratulate all parties involved in the dialogue, "putting the interests of the country and citizens first and foremost". They also express their gratitude to the diplomats who were participants and moderators of the same dialogue, including EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell.

“We are also pleased to note that the signatories have committed themselves to hold free and fair elections and to avoid any actions that could be interpreted as an inappropriate politicization of Georgia’s electoral or judicial processes. We would like to reiterate the importance of building trust in the judicial system and call to avoid any appointments to key positions which would not be conducive to this process,” the letter said.

The statement stressed that on March 8, the parties in Georgia agreed that the 2020 parliamentary elections would be held through a system of 120 MPs being elected by the proportional system and 30 seats distributed in majoritarian constituencies. It is enough for the parties to enter the parliament to overcome the one-percentage-point barrier and also set a limit that stipulates that no party that receives less than 40% of the votes will be able to form a majority independently.

The statement was co-signed by David McAllister (EPP, DE), Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee; Marina Kaljurand (S&D, ET), Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the South Caucasus; Sven Mikser (S&D, ET), The European Parliament’s standing rapporteur for Georgia; Viola Von Cramon Taubadel (The Greens/EFA, DE), European Parliament's lead member for democracy support activities in Georgia.

Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze said Georgia continues to strengthen democracy. Yesterday, March 10, Talakvadze wrote on his official Twitter page that political agreement on the format of the 2020 elections has been reached.

“Georgia continues to strengthen its democracy. Political agreement on the 2020 election format is reached. I’d like to thank our international partners for their support, especially US Ambassador Degnan, EU Ambassador Hartzell & Co-chair of the #House Georgia Caucus Congressman Kinzinger,” wrote Talakvadze.

According to Irakli Kobakhidze, a member of the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority, there will be four majoritarian constituencies in Imereti, with Adjara, Samegrelo, Kakheti, and Kvemo Kartli divided into 3 districts each, Shida Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti with 2 districts each. One will be in Guria, Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Racha-Lechkhumi-Svaneti and 7 in Tbilisi.

The legalization of the terms of the agreement requires appropriate constitutional changes. As of today, 73 out of 150 members of Parliament are elected by majoritarian and 77 proportional systems.