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Ruling Party Makes Concessions to Opposition
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Sep.'17 / 10:39

Political parties will be able to form electoral blocs for the next parliamentary elections in 2020 and the fully proportional system will enter into force from 2024 without the so called electoral bonus system, Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze said in his brief statement on September 21, few days ahead of the final vote on the draft constitution.

Kobakhidze clarified that instead of the bonus system, which entails the transfer of undistributed mandates (proportional to the votes garnered by parties which fail to clear the 5% threshold) to the winning party, all parliamentary seats from 2024 will be proportionally distributed among those parties, who manage to garner over 5% of votes in elections.

According to the statement, a legislative proposal containing these provisions will be submitted to the Parliament in the near future and it will be approved before the end of the next parliamentary session, apparently as amendments to the new constitution text that will be adopted in late September.
 
Kobakhidze’s statement follows the publication of the joint document of President Giorgi Margvelashvili and a group of twenty opposition parties calling on the Parliament to allow the electoral blocs and reject the bonus system. They also demanded the introduction of the fully proportional electoral system in 2020, as well as maintaining the direct presidential elections and the National Security Council as a constitutional body.
 
The Parliament of Georgia adopted the constitutional amendments with its second reading on June 23. The third and the final hearing will be held in late September, shortly after the Venice Commission submits its preliminary opinion on the revised draft of the constitution.

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