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Number of MPs will increase

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, January 13
Georgia’s constitution is permanently changing. Usually new amendments annul the previous ones. In the beginning, Georgia had more than 200 members in the parliament. After the plebiscite in 2003, the number decreased to 150. Today there are very serious speculations that the number of MPs will increase and revert back to 200.

In the new constitution adopted in 2010, Georgia practically becomes a parliamentary republic. Parliamentary sessions will be relocated to Kutaisi, and it is likely that new amendments will be initiated by the ruling power and accordingly accepted by the parliament and the number of MPs will again increase. From 1995, there were 150 MPs elected through the party list's so called proportional system and 85 majoritarians elected directly, giving a total of 235.

In 2003, the situation changed and it was decided that only 100 MPs would be elected according to the proportional list and 50 through the majoritarian. In 2008, these 150 seats were distributed equally, 75 proportional and 75 majoritarian. It looks like that number of MPs could be beneficial for both the ruling party and the opposition, though the latter have a better chance of being elected to parliament through the majoritarian lists. As it is said, the issue will be discussed at the sessions of the working group compiled by the ruling party and 8 opposition entities which are discussing new amendments of the electoral code.

As chair of the parliament, David Bakradze stated first that the parties should agree if there is a political consensus over the issue of increasing the number of MPs then he would not oppose the idea.

Before 2003, when the number of MPs was decreased, the population protested about so called idle MPs, those ones who were MPs officially but never appeared with any initiatives and remained silent during the debates and participated only in voting procedures. People protested against such MPs who, according to them, were only wasting state money and time. Now the current situation proves that an increase in the number of MPs will give a better chance of a higher representation of opposition members in the parliament. However, accordingly the number of ruling party members will also increase proportionally. So, if the final decision will be taken it should be put to a plebiscite as the decrease of their number was decided at the plebiscite, giving a strong reason for the population to actively get involved in this campaign.