Georgian opposition agrees on stance for '3rd round' of talks w. authorities to resolve political crisis
Georgian opposition parties have agreed upon a common position and are ready to hold a third round of negotiations with the ruling Georgian Dream party.
The main demand remains repeat elections, but along with the boycott of parliament, the opposition is ready to put forward its proposal, the opposition said after a meeting in the office of the Lelo party.
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Citizens Party leader Aleko Elisashvili says a heated discussion lasted for several hours at the Lelo party office, and while opinions differed, a common position was agreed upon, and the opposition is ready to meet both with the Georgian Dream and with the US and EU ambassadors, who are mediators in negotiations between the government and the opposition.
According to the leader of the Girchi party, Zurab Japaridze, the opposition’s demands “have increased in some places, weakened in some places”.
Asked by journalists whether the ruling party has come up with other proposals, for example, lowering the barrier in the elections in 2024 or to change the leadership of the CEC, Bokeria replied that the opposition would not accept any other proposals besides repeat elections.
Parliamentary elections in Georgia on October 31, 2020 for the first time were held under the new system – 120/30. That is, 120 MPs were elected per the proportional system / party lists, while 30 were elected according to the majoritarian system (single-mandate constituencies).
In the first round, the government’s candidates won in 13 majoritarian constituencies, and a second round was appointed in 17, as none of the candidates won 50 percent of the vote. The opposition refused to participate in the second round in protest against electoral fraud. As a result of voting, candidates from the ruling party were elected in all 17 constituencies.
According to the proportional system, the votes were distributed as follows:
Georgian Dream – 48.22 percent
National Movement – Strength in Unity – 27.18 percent
European Georgia – 3.79 percent
Lelo – 3.16 percent
Alliance of Patriots – 3.14 percent
Strategy Agmashenebeli – 3.15 percent
Girchi – 2.89 percent
Citizens – 1.33 percent
Labor Party – 1 percent.
All opposition parties running in the elections, as well as non-governmental organizations observing the elections, reported an unprecedented scale of electoral irregularities. Including bribery, voter pressure, as well as gross falsifications in the counting of votes.