Election of the President of Georgia by a 300-member college of electors, as introduced in the recently-adopted constitutional amendments, will remain unchanged, Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze said on December 11.
The statement today comes two weeks after Kobakhidze first announced that the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia would “start discussions” on making the Presidential office only Parliament-elected (the 300-member college consists of MPs, local and regional government representatives) and reflecting it in the ongoing constitutional amendment process.
The Parliamentary Chairman said then that municipal elections were “administrative elections” and that it was “not necessarily right to use the administrative-level elections for elections of political nature, like the presidential one.” “From legal point of view it would be more correct if the President was elected by the Parliament,” he added.
The Parliamentary Chairman reiterated his position on December 11, saying the system had “shortcomings,” and adding that “institutionally, legally and politically it would be better if the elector was the Parliament.”
He, however, noted that the presidential election mode as reflected in the constitution was “a political compromise” and it would, therefore, “remain in force.” “I personally think that elections by the parliament would be more correct, but eventually, we measured both legal and political implications and we decided not to reflect these changes in the constitutional bill,” Kobakhidze explained.
The Parliament of Georgia approved amendments to the constitution on its third and final reading on September 26, changing, among others, the mode of presidential elections and making the post indirectly elected.
On November 2, the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia initiated a new round of the constitutional amendment process to incorporate the Venice Commission recommendations in the newly-adopted constitution.