Political parties must behave more responsibly towards the election system reform
On June 1, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Georgian Parliament held the first hearing and voted on the draft law that aims to replace the existing election system with a modified version of the so-called German model. The draft law will be a real opportunity to improve the election system prior to the 2016 elections. The change will make the election system fairer by reflecting votes more proportionally in parliamentary mandates.
The parliamentary committee did not support the draft law. Prior to the initiation of the draft law, consultations were held between leading political parties and civil society organizations working on election issues, during which an agreement was reached that opposition political groups in the Parliament would support the so-called German model. Unlike other initiatives to change the election system, the introduction of this model does not require a constitutional amendment.
Unfortunately, the number of votes cast in favor of the draft law at the hearing was not enough to support the initiative. The draft law was supported by the Republicans, Free Democrats, National Forum and one independent MP. Five MPs from the parliamentary minority United National Movement were not present at the hearing due to the party’s boycott of parliamentary activities. These MPs did not cast their votes and the draft law failed to gather enough support. The draft law was voted against by 2 MPs from the parliamentary majority. The draft law required 7 votes to pass, since only 13 committee members were registered for voting.
Despite numerous statements made prior to the hearing, political parties failed to mobilize enough votes. We call on all political parties not to miss this historic opportunity to improve the election system, to attend the hearing of the draft law at the parliamentary session and to support its adoption.
Transparency International Georgia (TI)
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA)