Georgia

Open letter of Georgian civil society regarding the failed vote on electoral reform

REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

 

In Tbilisi protesters have gathered around the parliament this weekend following a failed vote in parliament on 14 November to pass amendments to the constitution allowing for the introduction of a fully proportional electoral system.

Local NGOs, such as our member International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) have written an open letter to the European Socialist Party (PES) stating that they see these developments as an "artificially manipulated process [...] masterminded by the chair of the ruling party [Georgian Dream], oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili. [...] This is a continuation of the process of state capture by Ivanishvili, who wishes to prolong his rule in Georgia through these pseudo-democratic processes."

Replacing the existing parallel (mixed majoritarian-proportional) electoral system with a fully proportional system was one of the main public demands to the authorities with respect to Georgia’s democratic development. In response to the public appeals during large-scale rallies in June 2019, the ruling party and its chairman publicly pledged on June 24 to adopt the fully proportional representation beginning from the 2020 elections.
 
Below is the open letter in full undersigned by several NGOs in Georgia.
 

ADDRESS OF GEORGIAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AND CIVIC ACTIVISTS TO THE EUROPEAN SOCIALISTS PARTY (PES)

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