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Non-Parliament opposition rejects majoritarian election model

By Messenger Staff
Friday, November 28
The non-parliamentary opposition parties still raised the issue of rejection of the majoritarian election system (when the MP is elected by direct voting). Their position is backed by the parliamentary Republican Party, which also rejects this system. If the initiative is supported, the proportional system (when the parties receive the number of MP mandates proportional to the votes it gathered in the election) will remain for the 2016 parliamentary elections.

The issue will be discussed in depth by the State Constitutional Commission that is due to draft a new constitution. Before the issue is handed to them, a debate will be scheduled.

The 2016 parliamentary elections are still a long way away. However, the non-parliamentary opposition parties that are left behind the political scene are looking for ways to return to the field.

Member of the New Rights Mamuka Katsitadze is pointing at various gaps in the current election code. He admits the current code leaves room for ‘stealing’ mandates.

“The Georgian Dream coalition won 43% of the total votes in the 2012 parliamentary elections. However, it gathered 75% of the mandates. This means that 30% of the mandates were stolen. If nothing changes we will face the same development in 2016,” Katsitadze said.

A similar attitude was voiced by a fellow member of the non-parliamentary opposition Jondi Baghaturia, who stressed that the country should move on to the common proportional election system.

“If we use the proportional model, we will no longer get the majority in parliament with 80% of votes,” he said.

As mentioned, members of the Republicans support the initiative. According to MP Levan Berdzenishvili, there is no equality between election precincts.

“The Gldani district and the Kazbegi region elect the same number of deputies,” he said. Gldani has tens of thousands of voters while Kazbegi only has a couple thousand.

He stresses that there are several acceptable versions the current model can be changed into. “These are regional-proportional lists (German model), when a party gets equal mandates to gained votes,” says Berdzenishvili.

However, the other parties of the coalition are not unanimous over the issue. Majority MP Gia Volski states that rejecting the majoritarian elections might be less beneficial to small communities and bordering villages. “Such people also need their representation in parliament,” he says.

Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili, who met with the non-parliamentary opposition, emphasizes that the election code requires serious amendments.

“The issue needs significant studying with different actors. We face problems not only with the proportional-majoritarian election system, we have problems concerning the number of voters in the majoritarian precincts as well,” he stated.

Currently, parliament has 77 MPs elected through the proportional method, and 73 through the majoritarian system.