GD decides to keep majoritarian system till 2020
By Messenger Staff
Monday, June 8On June 5th, the Georgian Dream Coalition announced its decision to postpone abolishing majoritarian election system until 2020. The decision was announced after a party meeting which was also attended by the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The decision was strongly criticized by the opposition parties, which have been long requesting a reform of the election system.
The GD party proposed maintaining the mixed system for 2016 parliamentary elections, which means again 73 MPs will be elected in 73 majoritarian, single-mandate constituencies and other 77 seats will go to the MPs elected in proportional voting, based on party lists. However, GD will try to make the system more fair and shrink existing misbalance between the single-mandate constituencies, by setting 50% threshold for majoritarian MPs. According the current law the threshold is 30%.
The major problem with the existing system is that single-mandate constituencies vary in the number of voters – ranging from over 150,000 voters in the largest one to less than 6,000 voters in the smallest one and each district can have only one MP, which makes the system unfair.
According to the Parliament Speaker, Davit Usupashvili, it would have been wrong to start a comprehensive reform of the election system right ahead the parliamentary elections. He also added that the coalition is ready to initiate the scrapping of the majoritarian system of elections, for future elections held after the 2016 parliamentary polls.
MP Davit Berdzenishvili revealed that the coalition is already working on the draft of constitutional amendments, which should be presented in about a week. The ruling party plans to amend the election system by the end of the year.
Opposition parties remain firm on their position and request an immediate amendment of the system. Nino Goguadze, one of the leaders of Free Democrats party, said that the GD Coalition has made a shameful decision.
Parliamentary as well as non- parliamentary opposition parties are going to fight the coalition and initiate constitutional amendments to establish a new election system in the country. However, due to lack of time, it seems that Georgia will have to keep the old majoritarian system during the upcoming 2016 parliamentary elections.