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Election-Related Constitutional Amendments Endorsed
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 20 Dec.'11 / 18:25

Parliament passed with its first reading on December 20 draft of amendments to reflect provisions of new deal on electoral system reform in the constitution.

The provisions of the deal, which are formulated in the constitutional amendments, are:

  • Downsizing number of majoritarian MPs from 75 to 73;
  • Increasing number of party-list MPs from 75 to 77;
  • Increasing bar for passing constitutional amendment from current two-third to three-fourth of MPs in 150-seat Parliament starting from late 2013 after the presidential elections;
  • A party or an election bloc clearing 5% threshold automatically takes six seats in Parliament

The draft of constitutional amendments also envisages allowing inmates who serve a prison term of no more than five years for “less grave crimes” to cast ballot in elections.

Removing blanket ban on the voting right of prisoners was one of the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s advisory body for legal and constitutional affairs.

According to official statistics, there were total of 22,600 inmates as of October, 2011 with 5,686 of them serving prison terms for “less grave offences”.

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