President Saakashvili again spoke strongly against of change of current rule of electing majoritarian MPs and said that a demand of “some radical” opposition parties to change this system amounted to depriving regions of having their individual representatives in the legislative body.
Saakashvili told a group of local residents in the village of Argveti in Imereti region during a televised meeting on April 2 that the opposition wanted to deprive residents of the regions of their right to elect their representatives in the Parliament.
The issue of majoritarian system is one of the most serious sticking points in suspended election system reform talks between the opposition and ruling party.
A group of eight opposition parties, which have tabled joint proposals on election system reform, want that the current rule of electing 75 MPs in 150-seat Parliament through majoritarian system in single-mandate constituencies should be changed with proportional-regional system, wherein multi-mandate constituencies will be introduced, wherein number of seats in each constituency will depend on its size. The seats in each of the multi-mandate constituency will be allocated proportionally between the parties, which will clear 5% threshold in that particular constituency.
The ruling party wants to maintain the current system, citing that each constituency should have the possibility to elect in the Parliament an individual MP. The ruling party has even offered to increase number of majoritarian MPs – a proposal strongly rejected by the opposition.
The number of majoritarian MPs and, most importantly the rule of their election, is one of the key issues as it can largely determine distribution of power in the legislative body.
Currently 75 seats in the Parliament are filled through proportional-party list system and the rest 75 lawmakers are elected in single-mandate constituencies through winner-takes-all system.
Under this current system ruling party managed to win in 2008 elections 71 out of 75 majoritarian seats.
First time when President Saakashvili voiced his strong opposition to the change of the current system was back in November, 2010, just shortly before the launch of election system reform talks.