Democratic backsliding in Georgia - need to adopt proportional electoral system
ADDRESS OF NGOS TO THE GOVERNMENT ON THE TRANSITION TO THE PROPORTIONAL ELECTORAL SYSTEM
The backsliding of democracy in Georgia over the recent period has come under the spotlight by international organizations and representatives of countries friendly to Georgia. Backing out on the promise to adopt a proportional system, the formation process of the Supreme Court, the ongoing political crisis and the policies of the Government of Georgia has been numerously criticized by the country’s domestic and international partners. This is confirmed with the critical statements made at the European Parliament and the strongly worded letters addressed to the Prime Minister of Georgia by the representatives of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
At the same time, Georgia’s ratings have declined in a number of international indexes. The political environment is incredibly tense and there is increasing polarization in the public, which will have a negative effect on the pre-electoral environment and the day of the Parliamentary elections. In these circumstances, it is imperative for the Government of Georgia and the ruling party to take steps aimed at deescalating the situation and restoring the reputation of the country in the eyes of the international partners.
This situation can be resolved by following through with the public promise of adopting a proportional electoral system. This decision would be perceived by the local and international society as the ruling party’s readiness to support the country’s democratic development. The creation of a free and fair election environment in the run-up to the Parliamentary elections in 2020 will strengthen the legitimacy of the election, restore the trust of Western partners and contribute to the improvement of the country’s reputation. The change of the electoral system will enable political parties to start preparing for their pre-electoral activities, reduce the level of polarization and create the conditions for a stable electoral environment.
Therefore, we once again call on the Georgian Dream to take into account their responsibility towards the democratic development of the country and to re-submit the initiative on Constitutional Changes to the Parliament in relation to the adoption of a proportional electoral system.
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Transparency International Georgia (TIG)
Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
International Center of Civil Culture (ICCC)
Human Rights Center (HRIDC)
Democracy Research Institute (DRI)
Democratic Development Union of Georgia
Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia
Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC)
Georgian Reforms Associates (GRASS)
Liberal Academy Tbilisi
Georgian Media Club
Georgian Farmers Association (GFA)
Research Center for Human Rights and Social Justice
Alliance of Broadcasters - Georgia
Journalism Resource Center
Regional Development Center