The package of constitutional changes that were approved by the Georgian parliament on Monday (29 June) have been welcomed by the international community.
EU High Representative, Josep Borrell congratulated all concerned in a tweet:
Adoption of constitutional amendments by the Parliament of Georgia is a key moment in the promotion of greater political pluralism in the country in view of upcoming elections. Congratulations to all! The EU will continue to stand by Georgia in its further election preparations https://t.co/N2sxu3jChn— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) June 29, 2020
A statement by the US State Department described them as historic and said that the United States will continue to support Georgia’s efforts to strengthen its democracy, electoral practices, and the rule of law. The statement said:
The United States applauds Georgia’s historic adoption of constitutional amendments that establish a more proportional electoral system. Enacted as a result of the important March 8 agreement among a majority of political parties, they will help promote greater stability and parliamentary pluralism in Georgia’s October parliamentary elections.
We urge Georgia’s parliament to pass election reform legislation that fully incorporates OSCE/ODIHR recommendations, and Georgia’s authorities to effectively implement such legislation. A key test for Georgia’s democratic evolution will be the holding of a free, fair, and transparent electoral process that represents the choice of the Georgian people. The fairness of the pre-election and post-election periods is equally as important as the conduct of election day.
The United States will continue to support Georgia’s efforts to strengthen its democracy, electoral practices, and the rule of law, as well as its broader Euro-Atlantic aspirations, which are among the best defences against Russian aggression.
The Georgian Parliament on Monday (29 June) approved in the third and final reading constitutional amendments that change the way the next parliament will be chosen in elections
The new parliament, which will be elected after elections in October, will consist of 120 deputies elected by the proportional system and 30 chosen by majoritarian system.
117 MPs supported the draft constitutional law on the change of the electoral system, and 3 were against.
The bill also envisages a 40% "lock mechanism" which requires a party to secure more than 40% of the vote for it to be able to form a government on its own.
MPs from the opposition National Movement and European Georgia parties did not participate in today's parliamentary vote. They had made their participation conditional on an opposition activist, Giorgi Rurua being released from jail.
photo: Georgian parliament in session (archive picture)
It called for immediate cessation of hostilities, de-escalation and strict observance of ceasefire.