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For Georgia Party Initiates the Return to Direct Election of the President

By Liza Mchedlidze
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia's party, For Georgia, is proposing to return to the direct election of the president by the people, rather than through the collegium. Beka Liluashvili, a party member, spoke about the initiative in the parliament.

The party believes that electing the future president by the people will ensure both high legitimacy and independence, especially given the heightened polarization in domestic politics and the security challenges in the region.

"On December 30, during his recent return to politics, Bidzina Ivanishvili acknowledged the issue of balance within the government. Instead of constitutionally addressing this problem, he proposed to take on the role of a balancer in his own government. In democratic systems, such a scenario simply does not exist; it is both unacceptable and, most importantly, impossible for one person to be the guarantor of the state's stability, let alone the guarantor of their own balancing act.

In state governance, the vitality of maintaining balance and harmony between branches of government lies in the presence of independent and highly legitimate institutions, not individuals. The ongoing political processes in the country have convinced us all of this reality.

Therefore, our team, the 'For Georgia' party, is proposing an initiative to amend the constitution, advocating for the direct election of the future president of Georgia by its citizens instead of through the electoral college." the party stated.

However, according to Gakharia's party, the practice of the last three years has demonstrated that a directly elected president was much more effective in performing the role of a balancer.

"We are not going to elaborate on international examples where, due to systemic necessity, states altered their current practices and reinstated the direct election of the president, as occurred, for example, in the Czech Republic in 2012," the party stated.