Four junior parties within the Georgian Dream majority group in the Parliament, among them, the Social Democrats, the Conservative Party, the Greens and the Industrialists, released a joint statement on September 25, expressing their endorsement of the constitution and criticizing the opposition parties and the President for “harming the constitutional [reform] process.”
“Apart from the Georgian Dream, there are four factions in the parliamentary majority, the visibility, the history, the ratings, the reputation and the party membership of each being a lot bigger than that of the majority of political parties assembled by the President for harming the constitutional [reform] process,” reads the statement.
“It is, therefore, irresponsible and incorrect to state that the constitution is being adopted by a single-party support only,” the parties also stated, responding to the criticism of President Giorgi Margvelashvili and the opposition parties that the constitutional reform process is led by the ruling party only.
The parties then said that they share the responsibility for the new constitution “absolutely equally,” and “are happy that following year-long intensive deliberations, we have drafted a constitution, which was supported by the public at the unprecedented nationwide discussions and was positively evaluated by the Venice Commission, and it is without a doubt that the constitutional reform will secure the country’s long-term democratic development.”
The Georgian Dream’s 116-member parliamentary majority unites six parliamentary factions, including six-member factions of the four parties.
The Social Democrats (three lawmakers), the Conservative Party (four lawmakers) and the Greens (one lawmaker) entered the Parliament on Georgian Dream’s party ticket in 2016. The fourth party - the Industrialists - entered the Parliament with its candidate, Simon Nozadze, winning the majoritarian seat in Khashuri single-mandate constituency (Nozadze joined the majority group shortly after the election).
The four groups established factions of their own following the transfer of lawmakers from the Georgian Dream faction, the biggest in the parliamentary majority group. The sixth faction - the Georgian Dream for Regional Development - consists of six ruling party lawmakers elected from single-mandate constituencies outside of Tbilisi.
A parliamentary faction is a group of at least six MPs, which gives certain privileges to its members, involving a seat and right to vote in the parliament’s bureau (the body which determines the parliamentary sessions’ agenda), guaranteed seats in committees, investigative and other ad hoc commissions and parliamentary delegations, as well as allocation of more time during debates and discussions in the Parliament.