Georgian Dream makes compromise with opposition

Georgian Dream makes compromise with opposition

The ruling Georgian Dream party's Secretary-General Kakha Kaladze said that 2020 parliamentary elections will be conducted in a mixed electoral system and the "topic is closed."

However, the party said that it will not nominate its candidates in particular majoritarian districts in the 2020 parliamentary elections and will allow opposition candidates to win the race.

"We have made a decision not to nominate our candidates in the majoritarian districts for 2020 where, apart from the United National Movement opposition party and its affiliated parties, the candidates of other opposition parties or independent candidates will be present, who will have the real chance to win the race," cited Kaladze as saying.

The party has responded to the initiative of several, ruling party majoritarian MPs regarding the transition to a fully majoritarian elections, saying that "we have assured the MPs that no new electoral initiative will be discussed for 2020 elections."

However, the ruling party says that the MPs "will continue work for this initiative" as voters will be able to express their view regarding the election reform either during the voting in the 2020 parliamentary elections or 2021 municipal elections.

The party says that conducting the 2020 elections with a fully proportional electoral system was initiated by the Georgian Dream party.

The opposition, which accuses the ruling party of "deliberately rejecting" the bill, is demanding the 2020 elections be held per the German electoral system, under an interim government.

The protests in Tbilisi were sparked after the rejection of the election bill on November 14, proposed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, offering the transition to a fully proportional electoral system from 2020 instead of 2024.

Political scientist Gela Vasadze, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that in fact, the Georgian Dream's proposal is not a compromise, but a trick. "It will not stop the protests. The opposition is completely united about what the authorities are trying to do: where the Georgian Dream doesn't nominate its candidate, they will easily promote an 'independent' candidate. The same situation as with the current President: Salome Zurabishvili was not formally nominated by the Georgian Dream, but in fact the state machine worked for her victory," he recalled.

"I think this statement was made for the Western partners' embassies in Georgia to show that everyone had calmed down and the authorities were offering something to the protesters," Gela Vasadze added.

The compromise also does not work because no party, except for the Georgian Dream and UNM, has the resources to promote its candidates in the constituencies. "At the same time, our opposition is still not ready to unite together against the Georgian Dream," the political scientist concluded.