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Georgian Opposition Parties Unite to Change Electoral System

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, February 1
Twenty-five opposition parties have started collecting signatures to change the current electoral system, which will automatically change in 2024 based on the constitution.

The parties include the United National Movement opposition, New Rights, European Georgia and several others.

"25 parties have come at a common idea of making our electoral system as democratic as possible, which is important for the fate of our democracy and statehood.

“We should repeatedly tell citizens of Georgia that their health, education, social and economic issues are directly related to our election environment. We should tell them that the proportional system largely excludes the repetition of a one-party or one-person governance in Georgia. It is a guarantee that we will achieve foreign policy goals faster," Grigol Vashadze, one of the leaders of the United National Movement said.

He claimed that almost all opposition parties are united under considering the issue.

The 2020 parliamentary elections will employ a mixed electoral system and the election threshold will be lowered from 5 to 3 percent.

At the same time, parties will be able to form political blocks, however only for the 2020 elections.

From 2014 Georgia will move to fully proportional elections.

It was the demand of the Georgian opposition the fully proportional electoral system to come to play from 2020, which was not shared by the Georgian Dream ruling party.

Currently, Georgia has a mixed electoral system in which 73 lawmakers in 150-seat parliament are elected in 73 majoritarian, single-mandate constituencies, while 77 seats are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among political parties that gain at least five percent of votes [the five percent will be lowered to 3 for the 2020 parliamentary race).