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Opposition Waiting for Ruling Party’s Response
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Apr.'11 / 14:56

There have been no new developments in electoral system reform consultations since the opposition tabled its new proposals a week ago, opposition representatives say.

“We have not yet received any concrete proposal or response [from the ruling party],” Mamuka Katsitadze of the New Rights Party, told Civil.ge on April 11. He, however, also said that there were unconfirmed reports that the ruling party was preparing its response.

MP Pavle Kublashvili, ruling party’s chief negotiator in Election Working Group, a negotiating format which last time held its meeting on March 9, declined on Monday to comment on the opposition’s most recent proposals.
 
On April 13 Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) will discuss a draft resolution on honouring of obligations and commitments by Georgia.

One of the issues raised in the draft resolution deals with the electoral system talks saying that the 2012 parliamentary and 2013 presidential elections “will be the litmus test for the consolidation of a mature, more inclusive and robust democratic system in Georgia.”

The draft resolution welcomes that the Election Working Group was re-established and recommends adoption of “entirely new election code” and to agree on “an election system that can muster the full trust of all electoral stakeholders.”

It also calls for addressing shortcomings noted by the international election observers. Among these shortcomings the draft lists the need to re-define electoral districts borders based on the principle of equality of the vote and to allow non-partisan candidates to run for majoritarian MP seat; only a party can nominate majoritarian MP candidate under the existing rules.

On March 9 the ruling party put forth its election-related proposals offering to address equality of the vote by dividing ten largest constituencies with over 100,000 registered voters, which, if implemented, will lead to increase of number of majoritarian MPs.

In the same proposals the ruling party has pledged to allow non-party candidates to run for the majoritarian MP seat. This change, however, may come at odds with the eight opposition parties’ proposal, which agreed to maintain the current majoritarian system, but on the condition of introducing a principle of non-awarding of overhang seats in party-list contest so that to secure proportionality between votes received by each party and distribution of seats in the Parliament.

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