The opposition parliamentarians staged a walk out on June 22 during the session of the Parliamentary Committee for Regional Policy and Self-governance, in protest against the government-backed draft law over the rule of election of the Tbilisi city Mayor and City Council (Sakrebulo).
The draft law, which was proposed by an influential MP Giga Bokeria from the ruling National Movement party, envisages indirect elections of the Tbilisi Mayor by an elected City Council. The latter, according to this proposal, will be composed by the members elected in individual constituencies of Tbilisi by the "winner takes all" system. Currently, the City Council members are elected through a proportional, party-list system.
Non-partisan MP Levan Gachechiladze, who reportedly plans to run for Tbilisi Mayor, described the government-backed draft law as “the model which enables the government to gain total control in Tbilisi.”
Leader of the Conservatives opposition party MP Koba Davitashvili said that the new rule over the election of the City Council and Mayor will enable the government to establish, as he put it, a “one-party dictatorship.”
The New Rights opposition party has already prepared an alternative draft law, which envisages direct elections of city Mayors, but it has already been rejected by the ruling National Movement party.