Political Crisis in Georgia

Raising Fears of Instability, Georgian Dream Rejects Compromise on Election System

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Photo: ტაბულა

Georgian Dream ruled out compromise on election reform, following widespread domestic and international criticism for tanking the previously pledged switch to the proportional election system. The move is feared to pull Georgia further towards radicalization and instability.

Speaking earlier today, Georgian Dream Secretary General Kakha Kaladze rejected a possibility switching to the so-called adjusted German model in which single mandate districts exist but parties’ overall parliamentary representation is proportional to their proportional vote. Entire Georgian opposition spectrum proposed the model - which does not require a constitutional change - as a compromise solution.

On November 14, Georgian Dream voted down switch to the proportional system to which it agreed amid protests in June, following the visit of Russian Communist MP Sergey Gavrilov and holding of the controversial Assembly of Orthodox countries.

Police used water cannons to disperse demonstrators that had been picketing parliament for several days on November 19. Similar protest is announced for today.

Twelve members of Georgian Dream, including First Vice Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili and virtually entire English-speaking pro-western wing of the party quit in protest.

Georgia’s existing “mixed” system has widely been criticized for designed to produce supermajorities and benefit the rule of Bidzina Ivanishvili, GD Chairman who made his fortune in Russia.

Joint US-EU statement as well as statements from US Congress and European Parliament criticized Georgian Government and called for honoroing its commitments.

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