A group of eight opposition parties will unveil new proposals on rule of electing majoritarian MPs on April 5 in an attempt to help end deadlock in electoral system talks with the ruling party, Irakli Alasania, leader of Our Georgia-Free Democrats said on Monday.
The issue of majoritarian MPs turned into one of the most serious sticking points in talks between the ruling party and the group of eight opposition parties, which are currently suspended.
Alasania told Maestro TV on April 4 that President Saakashvili was "misleading" voters when saying that the opposition wanted to deprive regions of thier representatives in the Parliament by demanding change of the current rule of electing majoritarian MPs.
He said the opposition was insisting on having a fair system, wherein votes received by a political party in the election would be translated into adequate number of seats in the Parliament.
"So if I have 40% of votes it should be translated into 40% of seats in the Parliament," Alasania said.
He said that the current system of electing majoritarian MPs was not securing this principle and for that reason the opposition offered proportional-regional system, wherein multi-mandate constituencies will replace current single-mandate constituencies; 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 is against of the proposal saying that the current system is the best way to provide for each constituency to have an individual representative in the legislative body.
Under the current rule, wherein an MP is elected through winner-takes-all system, the ruling party endorsed its candidates in 71 out of 75 single-mandate constituencies in 2008 parliamentary elections. The ruling party in addition endorsed 48 lawmakers through proportional, party-list system after receiving 59.18% of votes and in overall secured 119 seats, which makes 79.3% of seats in the 150-member legislative body.
Irakli Alasania said that the eight opposition parties' proposal on proportional-regional system remained in force, but in order "to give space to continuation of talks", the opposition was planning additional proposals.
"I will not go into details right now, but I can say that the proposal will envisage such a synthesis of majoritarian and proportional election system, which will secure creation of a fair system, wherein each party will have in the Parliament seats proportional to its votes," Alasania said.
He said that by offering new proposal the opposition was making yet another step towards the negotiations and the ruling party should not "close this space for political dialogue", because otherwise "the processes will move towards the radicalization", which was fraught with risk of throwing Georgia back into political turmoil of 1990s.
He said that there were forces, also on the opposition front, which were not part of the negotiating table, wanting the electoral talks to be thwarted.
At the same time Alasania did not rule out "large-scale protest rallies" with the demand of fair electoral environment in case of the authorities' refusal to compromise.
He said there were some figures within the ruling party, who were understanding that the compromise was needed. He said that President Saakashvili was not willing to compromise, because "he wants to get more seats [in the Parliament] with less votes in order to secure the post of PM" when the new constitution goes into force in late 2013.