Georgian gov’t agrees to protest demands: 2020 parliamentary elections by proportional system
The ruling Georgian Dream party has agreed to hold the 2020 parliamentary elections on a proportional system, party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili has announced after a meeting of the party’s political council and the parliamentary majority.
“Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia is initiating a large-scale political reform: the parliamentary elections of 2020 will be held according to a proportional system with a zero electoral threshold,” said Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Ivanishvili says the reforms were going to be introduced by 2024, but given public demand the decision was changed. He added consultations on this reform would begin in parliament in the coming days.
He also addressed demands that police and security officers who used excessive force against demonstrators on June 21 be punished, and said “public order must be considered, and I am sure that we will come to fair results. The organizer of mass violence and those who have [used excessive force] will be punished.”
The European Georgia Party believes that the transition to a proportional electoral system in 2020 is a victory for society.
According to one of the party leaders, Elena Khoshtaria, the decision of the Georgian Dream means that “not a single case of humiliation of dignity will pass without a trace, and any future authority will be responsible for such unworthy and illegal actions.”
Khoshtaria says that the demand to hold the elections on the proportional system are but one of the protesters’ demands, and that the Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Gakharia, should be dismissed.
“This is our main demand, because he [Ivanishvili] needs Gakharia to control the situation inside the country. The second: Gakharia is a link connecting with Russia. If Gakharia and the head of the State Security Service are not removed from their posts, everything will remain unchanged”, said United National Movement MP Salome Samadashvili.
She noted that the decision to hold proportional elections with a zero electoral threshold must be well analyzed.
“We need to think about what this may lead to. There are a lot of small political players in the country, which oligarchs easily subordinate to their interests. There are many similar examples”, Samadashvili said.