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Rule of Electing Tbilisi Mayor Disputed
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Nov.'09 / 15:08

The Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), a leading party in the parliamentary minority group, said it would offer “a compromise proposal” to set 33% electoral threshold for electing Tbilisi mayor.

An inter-party working group on electoral reform meets on November 12 to discuss this and other election-related issues.

Alliance for Georgia, whose leader Irakli Alasania said he would run for the Tbilisi mayoral office, is strongly against of so called winner-takes-all system, wherein a candidate with most of the votes and not necessarily with over 50% will be declared a winner in mayoral race. Alliance for Georgia said it was a key element for having a fair elections to introduce a system when a run-off will be required if none of the candidates garner more than 50% of votes in the first round.

MP Levan Vepkhvadze, a vice-speaker of Parliament from the CDM, said that his party’s proposal was to have a 33% threshold, meaning that a candidate receiving more votes than competitors, but not less than 33% would be declared a winner. He described this offer as a compromise proposal, because as he said the some were insisting on 50% threshold while the ruling party on not having any threshold at all.

CDM’s proposal in fact is similar to the one applied during the election of majoritarian MPs in the May, 2008 parliamentary election and from which the ruling party candidates benefited, particularly in Tbilisi. The ruling party candidates were better positioned under this rule, because they were competing with several opposition candidates and the overall opposition vote was split.

In last year’s parliamentary elections the ruling party candidates won the majoritarian MP seats with over 50% of votes in only four out of ten constituencies of Tbilisi. In four constituencies the ruling party candidates won the majoritarian seats by receiving although more votes then their competitors, but less than 50% and the opposition candidates won in only two remaining constituencies.

Another proposal, which is expected to be discussed by the working group on electoral reform, is offered by the authorities according to which the President will name three potential candidates for the post of Central Election Commission chairmanship and then the opposition parties will be eligible to pick up one from three proposed.

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