GDDG Dismisses Concerns over Constitutional Majority
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Oct.'16 / 17:24

GDDG, which will try to gain three-fourths super-majority in the parliament by winning MP runoffs in most of the districts in the second round of elections, has dismissed as groundless concerns over concentration of constitutional majority in the ruling party.

“[Having] constitutional majority poses no threat whatsoever,” ruling GDDG party’s executive secretary, Irakli Kobakhidze, said on October 18.

“On the contrary, we have proven over the past four years that we want and are capable of moving the country forward on the path of democratic development,” said Kobakhidze, who has been elected in the new parliament through a proportional, party-list system.

He made remarks in response to a petition by a group of over forty civil society activists in which they call for supporting opposition candidates in the second round majoritarian MP races in the single-mandate constituencies. In most of those election districts, where second rounds are expected for October 30, GDDG candidates will face contenders from the UNM opposition parties.

Petition is addressed to eight political parties: UNM; Republican Party; Free Democrats; State for People; New Political Center-Girchi; New Rights; New Georgia, and Labor Party.

“We address you as to the pro-Western parties in the Georgian politics, for whom Euro-Atlantic vector of the country’s development and liberal democratic values are valuable, to be politically reasonable, and fend-off the threat of unchecked, one-party rule and call on your supporters to make their choice in favor of opposition candidates in the second round contests in order to prevent gaining constitutional majority by the ruling party,” reads the petition, which also says that Georgia has already experienced negative consequences of concentration of the constitutional majority in a single party, when it was held by UNM in 2008-2012.

GDDG’s executive secretary Irakli Kobakhidze dismissed the petition as “a cheap campaign” spearheaded by UNM and those, who have signed the petition as “people associated with UNM.” He said “there is no reason for such a campaign”, because winning constitutional majority by the ruling party will create no threat to democratic development of the country.

On top of the 44 seats, which the ruling GDDG party, is expected to take in the Parliament under the proportional representation, its candidates are winning outright in majoritarian MP races in 23 single-mandate constituencies, according to preliminary results.

It means that the ruling party already has 67 seats in the new Parliament – 9 short of majority and 46 short of three-fourths super-majority in the 150-member Parliament – 113 seats, which is required to pass constitutional amendments.

In 44 out of 50 districts, where second rounds are expected, according to preliminary election results, GDDG’s candidates face contenders from UNM party, and most of the political parties appear reluctant to call on their supporters to vote for UNM representatives in the runoffs.

In one district – Tbilisi’s Mtatsminda constituency – UNM’s candidate is facing an independent candidate, ex-foreign minister Salome Zourabichvili, who is backed by the GDDG party.

In two districts GDDG’s candidates face contenders from Free Democrats (FD) party, but in one of them – town of Gori – GDDG candidate remains actually unchallenged after FD leader, Irakli Alasania, announced about withdrawal from the race, but his name will still remain on ballot paper during the second round. FD candidate is standing in the second round against GDDG representative in Chiatura as well.

In one district – Khashuri in Shida Kartli region – GDDG candidate is facing a representative from election bloc Industrialists-Our Homeland.

In two districts – Mtskheta and Lanchkhuti/Chokhatauri – GDDG’s candidates are facing independent candidates.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s spokesperson, Eka Mishveladze, said on October 18 that the president considers concentration of the constitutional majority in a single party as an “opportunity” on the one hand, and as a “threat” on the other.

She also said that the president calls on voters to turn out at the polling stations during the second round contests, but refrained from throwing support behind any of the political party’s candidates.

President Margvelashvili has not campaigned for any of the political party ahead of the October 8 parliamentary elections, instead he was involved in get out the vote campaign.

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