Georgian Dream ruling coalition has agreed to set minimal threshold for electing mayors of self-governed cities and heads of all the municipalities (gamgebeli) in the first round of vote at 50% in the local elections this year, PM Irakli Garibashvili’s press office said in a statement on February 17.
A draft of GD-proposed amendments in the election code, which has already been submitted to the Parliament for consideration, offers setting 40% threshold for electing of mayors and 33% for electing gamgebelis.
Threshold for electing mayor in Tbilisi, which before the adoption of new law on self-governance was the only city where the mayor was directly elected, is set at 30%, meaning that a candidate, who wins more votes than others, but not less than 30% is an outright winner of the race.
Setting a 50% threshold was among the key demands of non-parliamentary opposition parties and a group of civil society organizations.
Up until now GD was against of further increasing threshold to 50%; some of its members were saying that the higher threshold would increase chances of second round runoffs, resulting in the need of additional financial expenses.
PM’s office said in the statement on February 17, that Garibashvili, who is also a leader of the GD ruling coalition, has proposed to set the threshold at 50%.
“Irakli Garibashvili held a meeting [with the GD coalition] and convinced the coalition to support this initiative,” reads the statement.