About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 18:14 - 21 Feb.'18
Election Talks Fail to Yield Deal
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Nov.'09 / 01:10

Parties failed to agree on rule of electing Tbilisi mayor bringing talks on electoral system reform to a deadlock, some negotiators said after talks on November 18.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of an inter-party working group on electoral reform on November 18.

The working group was established initially by eight parties (the Labor Party withdrew from the group) in February, 2009 with the facilitation of U.S. National Democratic Institute. The Alliance for Georgia, which unites New Rights, Republican and Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) parties, joined the group in September.

Disagreement mainly persists between the Alliance for Georgia and the ruling party with the latter insisting on a 30% threshold for electing the capital city’s mayor. The Alliance for Georgia was pushing for having a 50% threshold, wherein a run off will be required if neither of the candidates garner over 50% of votes in the first round.

At the November 18 meeting the Alliance for Georgia stepped back from its initial position and offered 45% threshold instead of 50%, but the proposal was voted down by the ruling party, as well as reportedly by National-Democratic Party. And the 30% proposal was vetoed by the Alliance for Georgia.

According to the procedures agreed by the participants, the working group’s decisions are made based on consensus.

Pavle Kublashvili, a senior lawmaker who represents the ruling party in the working group, suggested after the meeting that possibility for reaching an agreement within the working group was exhausted.

“I do not see any resource for continuing working in this format,” MP Kublashvili, who chairs the parliamentary committee for legal issues, said.

“I regret that everything ended this way, but it happened because of the Alliance for Georgia’s very inflexible position. We will continue consultations with parties individually on these matters [election code],” he added.

Zurab Abashidze of OGFD, part of Alliance for Georgia, said the Alliance was still ready to continue talks in frames of the working group.

“I hope Mr. Kublashvili and his colleagues from the ruling party will revise the decision and continue participation in the working group. We believe the ruling party should continue working in frames of this group,” he said.

MP Levan Vepkhvadze, who represents the Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) in the working group, said there was little chance of reaching a consensus as the sides failed to bring their positions closer.

“It looks like a deadlock,” he said. “The 30% threshold proposal was vetoed by the Alliance for Georgia and the latter’s proposal for having 45% was vetoed by the ruling party.”

He also complained that because of this disagreement over rule of electing Tbilisi mayor the working group has also failed to progress on other issues as well.

The rule of electing mayor was voted in package with some other proposals, including rule on composition of the Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo). All the participants agreed to have a 50-member City Council, wherein 25 seats will distributed among candidates elected through proportional, party-list system and 25 distributed among candidates who will win contest in majoritarian constituencies.

The participants also reached a consensus on the rule of appointing chairman of Central Election Commission (CEC), according to which the President will nominate three candidates and it will be only up to the opposition parties to select one from those three nominees. The agreement also implies that the President should involve civil society organizations in selecting three candidates.

MP Levan Vepkhvadze said CDM was against of voting on these issues in one package and was instead offering to vote on the proposals separately in order not to hinder progress on those issues on which the participants already had an agreement. Alliance for Georgia was in favor of keeping these issues in one package, citing that all these issues were part of one electoral system and there was no need to separate them.

Latest News
21 Feb.'18 18:14
Crimean Tatar Mejlis Chairman Visits Georgia
Refat Chubarov met Georgian parliamentary speaker and government minister during his stay in the country.
21 Feb.'18 16:38
President Campaigns to Engage Youth in Centennial Celebrations
Georgia will mark the centennial anniversary of restoration of its statehood on May 26, 2018.
21 Feb.'18 13:26
Foreign Minister Warns Against Visa-Waiver Abuse
Over 220,000 Georgian citizens have enjoyed visa free travel to the Schengen area.
20 Feb.'18 15:19
The Weekly Tripwire - Issue 27
Civil.ge’s news digest covering developments in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
19 Feb.'18 17:53
Tbilisi City Court Releases Turkish Citizen on Bail
Mustafa Emre Çabuk has been released pending final court decision on his extradition to Turkey.
19 Feb.'18 15:49
CSOs, Media Outlets Call for Parliamentary Probe into Mukhtarli Case
The joint statement has been signed by 35 local civil society organizations and media outlets.
19 Feb.'18 14:09
Georgian PM Meets World Leaders in Munich
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili attended the Munich Security Conference on February 16-18.
16 Feb.'18 16:58
Government Unveils New Tax Initiative for Small Businesses
According to the initiative, tax rates for small businesses will decrease fivefold.
16 Feb.'18 15:06
Georgian Economy Minister Visits Azerbaijan
Kumsishvili attended the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council. 
15 Feb.'18 17:39
Independent Agency to Investigate Crimes Committed by Law Enforcement Officers
The agency will be established in 2019, and will replace the Office of Personal Data Protection Inspector.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2018, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.