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Opposition: First Rurua, then voting

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, June 29
As the Elections of 2020 are coming closer, the government of Georgia is trying to adopt the electoral amendments, which will decide the fate of this year’s elections. Initially, the ruling party had promised the people of the country and its international partners that the 2020 elections would have been held in a proportional manner, with no threshold.

However, the amendments were not supported by the ruling party representatives, after which, the members of the ruling party and representatives of the opposition have been meeting for several months to come up with ideas and plans for this election.

Finally, with the help of the country's international partners, the decision was made. Now, the parliament needs to vote for the amendments for the third time to finally decide the way the elections should be held.

However, the opposition says that not all parts of the agreement have been fulfilled and that Rurua still is in jail. The Parliament of Georgia will vote on the constitutional amendments in the third reading at the June 29th sitting.

Davit Matikashvili, a member of the parliamentary majority, said that on June 29th, the Georgian Dream will thoroughly implement the March 8th agreement with the support of independent MPs in a multifunctional way, and in the third reading it will definitely adopt the amendments to the constitution.

Davit Matikashvili calls the part of the opposition that demands the release of Giorgi Rurua from imprisonment radical, criminal and lost. “This part of the opposition has been degraded and turned into a criminal force,” said a member of the majority.

However, members of the main opposition parties in parliament, the United National Movement and European Georgia, say they are not going to change their position and vote on the June 29 constitutional amendment in the third reading if they do not release Giorgi Rurua, whose trial is scheduled for June 29, at 11:00 p.m.

“The Georgian Dream is the successor to the Communists and their spiritual successor. We are the opposition to change this government, which is really criminal because it steals budget money,” said the MP of UNM, Roman Gotsiridze.

Sergi Kapanadze, a member of the European Georgia party, also said that European Georgia would take part in the discussion of the constitutional amendments if both parts of the March 8th agreement were fully implemented by the government:

“If Giorgi Rurua is released and both parts of the March 8 agreement are fully implemented, then, as we have said, we will participate. If this agreement is not implemented, then naturally we will not participate,” noted Kapanadze.

According to the constitutional amendment, which will be put to a vote in the third reading on June 29, the parliament of the new convocation will consist of 120 members elected by the proportional system and 30 members elected by the majoritarian system. Under the changes, the proportional system will allow the mandates of members of parliament to be distributed to political parties that receive at least one percent of the actual votes cast.