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Parties discuss concept of zero threshold elections

By Khatia Kardava
Thursday, August 24
In case of an agreement with the opposition, the "Georgian Dream" will announce zero election threshold for the parliamentary elections of 2020. The information was spread by the media last week.

Several political parties have expressed their position over the issue. Some of them have rated the proposal sharply negative. They believe such a proposal would be ineffective in terms of a mixed electoral system and would threaten the country's democratic development.

The majority of the opposition parties analyze the new initiative only in light of the constitutional amendments.

"The opposition has a demand that the 2020 parliamentary elections and all subsequent elections should be carried out according to the proportional system,” the leader of Republican Party, Levan Berdzenishvili said.

Member of European Georgia, Khatuna Gogorishvili, also makes it clear that the fraction demands “transition to the proportional system.” According to the member of European Georgia, Sergo Ratiani, with this proposal the government tries “to win hearts of small parties” and in the end will receive “disproportionate power and usurpation of the government power.”

Representative of Free Democrats, Levan Samushia, suspects that this scheme will create “an illusion of pluralistic environment” in parliament.

The stance is supported by the National Movement. Roman Gotsiridze, the chairperson of the National Movement, believes that the government wants to split the opposition with this initiative. “Opposition parties are now consolidated against the ruling party regarding the constitutional amendments and the information about parties having to overcome only the natural threshold in 2020 elections, endangers the unity, ”says Gotsiridze.

The idea of conducting the 2020 parliamentary election without threshold has been expressed in light of the upcoming meeting between the opposition and the government, which will be held in Strasbourg on September 6 by the mediation of the head of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio.

The Georgian Dream is preparing for internal consultations regarding the constitutional amendments. After this, it will be clear what will be the offer of the ruling team to the opposition.

"We will go through the issues again. We might consider opinions of our opponents about some of the issues, but before that, of course a dialogue must be conducted. So called “natural barrier” is one of the topics, but we have not formed an agreed position on this topic, “said Vice Speaker of Parliament, Gia Volsky.

“There is a preliminary agreement on all issues within the majority, but we will go through the issues once again before meeting with the opposition,” stated Volsky.

On August 18, the ruling party held a meeting with interested parties and urged the opposition members to submit comments regarding the constitutional amendments in a written form. Now, it is solely a realm of Georgian politicians to uphold a political culture supporting the dialogue and achievement of consensus in the best interests of Georgian Society.