The messenger logo

PM vows to uphold high standards in 2016 elections

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 15
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikahsvili says that this year, parliamentary elections in Georgia will be in line with the highest European standards.

The PM made the statement when he returned from Brussels several days ago, wherein he met with high-ranking European officials.

Kvirikahsvili stressed that it was crucial for his government to uphold all standards characteristic of elections in democratic countries.

“It is important to imbue Georgia’s political environment with high expectations so that every player on the election field meets high standards,” the PM said, adding that Georgia’s European partners had high hopes in this regard.

Shifting to his Brussels’s meetings, the PM evaluated them as “necessary and timely”, which reaffirmed the encouragement Georgia enjoyed from the European Union (EU).

“We provided the European Commission with exhaustive information about developments in Georgia and reforms stemming from the association agenda.

“I had detailed discussions on this issue with President of the European Council Donald Tusk, European Commission President Junker, and other European Union officials. We convinced them that Georgia’s reforms under the association agenda are in full swing, and no obstacle will stand in the way of this process,” Kvirikashvili said.

Meanwhile, a group of non-parliamentary opposition parties say they will start “large-scale” street rallies if the Government will not change its stance on the election code.

The parties stated that the Government must annul the majoritarian system of elections for the 2016 parliamentary elections and must not postpone the change to 2020, as they believe this suits the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition.

Before holding the rallies the parties state they will meet with the Prime Minister.

GD members state that the majoritarian elections will not be rejected for this year’s parliamentary race.

Georgia has a mixed electoral system in which 73 lawmakers in a 150-seat Parliament are elected in 73 majoritarian, single-mandate constituencies, while the remaining 77 seats are allocated proportionally under a party-list contest among political parties.

The opposition, both parliamentary and non-parliamentary, say that the majoritarian elections are not fair and should be replaced with another system.

Kvirikahsvili held meetings in Brussels on February 9-10.