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ISFED Claims Referendum Complicates Election Process
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Sep.'03 / 10:34

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) expresses deep concern in regard to holding a referendum over reduction of a number of MPs on November 2, simultaneously with the parliamentary elections.

In a statement issued on September 11 ISFED claims that two months are not enough to inform citizens and conduct public discussions to be raised at the referendum.

"Moreover, the Parliament has adopted serious amendments to the election legislation. Adding the referendum to the elections further complicates the election process and the work of the election commissions," the statement reads.

For these reasons, ISFED suggests to conduct the referendum later, separately, taking into consideration the fact that the results of the referendum should apply to the parliament elected in 2007.

Recently legal expert Davit Usupashvili said, that under Article 28 of the Georgian Organic Law on Referendum, a decision made as a result of a referendum comes into force on the day of its publication, it is binding, and its change or abolition is admissible only by holding another referendum.

As a result of the November 2 elections, the newly elected parliament will consist of 235 MPs. However, if the referendum passes (it will be issued on November 7), a Parliament consisting of only 150 MPs will be legal.

President Shevardnadze signed a decree on holding a referendum over reduction of a number of MPs from 235 to 150 on September 3.

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