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Proposals on Electoral Rules to Move in Parliament
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 Nov.'09 / 18:32

After a failure to reach a consensus within the inter-party working group on electoral reforms, the process is now expected to move into the Parliament and lawmakers are likely to discuss set of those proposals, which was supported by most of the parties in the working group.

Inter-party working group on electoral reform, facilitated by the U.S. National Democratic Institute, in which decisions were made based on consensus, became deadlocked over disagreement between the ruling party and Alliance for Georgia on the rule of electing Tbilisi mayor. Alliance for Georgia was insisting that a Tbilisi mayoral candidate be declared an outright winner only in case of clearing of at least 45% threshold; while the ruling party said it would agree only on 30% threshold. 

Although the group agreed on some other electoral issues, it failed to endorse them as these issues were voted in package with controversial rule of electing Tbilisi mayor. The parliamentary minority group, in particular Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) and National-Democratic Party (NDP) called on November 24 on the ruling party to commit itself to supporting already reached agreements by signing a document laying out proposals, which were approved by most of the parties in frames of NDI-facilitated working group.

“It is a good initiative, because we should not lose those compromises, which the ruling party already did, just because there is a disagreement on threshold for electing Tbilisi mayor,” MP Levan Vepkhvadze of CDM said on November 24.

A senior lawmaker from the ruling party, Akaki Minashvili, told Civil.Ge on November 20 that the ruling party would proceed with approving provisions, which had already been agreed by majority of inter-party working group participants, in the Parliament.

The set of proposals, which is likely to be discussed by the Parliament, involves 30% threshold for election of the capital city’s mayor, as well as rule of composition of the Tbilisi City Council; rule of appointment of Central Election Commission chairman and procedure for filing complaints about electoral violations.

According to the proposals the City Council will have 50 members, wherein 25 seats will distributed among candidates elected through proportional, party-list system and the rest 25 distributed among candidates who will win contest in majoritarian constituencies. Proportional seats will be distributed among the parties, which will clear a 4% threshold and majoritarian candidate winning more votes than others (without having any threshold) will be declared an outright winner.

According to the proposal the President will nominate three candidates for the post of chairman of the Central Election Commission and it will be only up to the opposition members of CEC to select one as chairman. If none of three candidates receive majority votes of opposition CEC members then it will be up to the Parliament to elect one among three candidates. In the precinct election commissions the opposition members will have the right to appoint the commission secretaries, according to the proposal.

Deadline for filing complaints over the electoral violations will be increased from current 24 hours to 48 hours, according to the proposal.

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