Georgian Parliament Confirms Historic Constitutional Reforms

Successful Vote in Parliament Today Heralds a New Era for Georgian Democracy

U.S., E.U., International Community Applauds Georgian Dream Commitment to Electoral Reforms

TBILISI, Georgia, June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Georgia took a decisive and historic step towards the European Union and the West with the adoption of the March 8 electoral reform agreement in a final Parliamentary vote.

The Parliament of Georgia voted to adopt the Constitutional Amendments required to implement the March 8 Agreement, with 117 members out of 150 parliamentarians voting in favour.

The constitutional reforms proposed by the Georgian Dream government, were the result of steadfast support from Georgia's Western Allies, the U.S., E.U., U.K. and other international partners.

Archil Talakvadze, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament issued the following statement -

"Today's vote fulfils the desire of the Georgian people for greater democracy and political participation by every citizen. It confirms that the Georgian Dream party is the true guardian of Georgia's democratic future.

"To all of our citizens, let us celebrate that our nation has come together to battle the coronavirus and to battle for stronger democratic reforms. On behalf of all Georgians, I thank our international partners especially the United States and the European Union, for helping Georgia to reach this historic moment.

"Unfortunately, many in the opposition chose to defy the will of the people and put politics ahead of the people by voting against democracy. Nevertheless, we will not let naysayers snuff out a historic accomplishment. This giant leap towards Europe will ensure security, prosperity and new opportunities for millions of people in the current and future generations of Georgians."

The radical opposition parties did not participate in the vote; they abandoned their duties when the Georgian people needed them most. Our international partners urged all parties to vote for this reform. Instead, the radical opposition tried to sabotage the vote, and hurled insults at Western diplomats who are true friends of Georgia.

The Georgian Dream, under the leadership of Bidzina Ivanishvili, has supported full proportional representation since it came to power in 2012. Georgian Dream worked with our international partners to negotiate the electoral reform, our Members of Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the reform, and the Georgian Dream-led government remains fully committed to implementing the reforms ahead of the October 2020 elections.

Georgian Dream will never break our promises, or backtrack on commitments. The government's track record of delivering for the Georgian people remains clear to see.

What Georgia's Western Allies Are Saying


-- Joint Statement by the Facilitators: U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly
Degnan
[https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=2843831-1&h=420041116&u=https%3A%2F
%2Fge.usembassy.gov%2Fjoint-statement-by-the-facilitators-to-the-politic
al-dialogue-on-the-passage-of-amendments-to-the-electoral-system-june-29
%2F&a=U.S.+Ambassador+to+Georgia+Kelly+Degnan] and EU Ambassadors
[https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=2843831-1&h=400558236&u=https%3A%2F
%2Feeas.europa.eu%2Fdelegations%2Fgeorgia%2F81716%2Fjoint-statement-faci
litators-political-dialogue-passage-amendments-electoral-system_en&a=EU+
Ambassadors]:"We warmly congratulate the Parliament of Georgia on
today's adoption of Constitutional amendments designed to increase
parliamentary pluralism and allow for a more representative legislature.
We recognize that these amendments reflect difficult compromises by
Georgia's political parties and commend those who ensured their
successful passage"
Background


-- The historic electoral reform agreement was reached by all political
parties on March 8(th) of this year. The Memorandum of Understanding
[https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=2843831-1&h=2873329163&u=https%3A%2
F%2Fge.usembassy.gov%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F165%2FMemorandum-o
f-Understanding.pdf&a=The+Memorandum+of+Understanding] obliged all the
signatories to put the interests of the Georgian citizens and the
consolidation of Georgia's democracy first. The agreement was
accompanied by a Joint Statement
[https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=2843831-1&h=273915103&u=https%3A%2F
%2Fge.usembassy.gov%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F165%2FJoint-Stateme
nt.pdf&a=Joint+Statement] recognizing the broader objective of holding
free and fair elections.
-- The March 8 Agreement was the outcome of more than three months of
intense rounds of negotiations among the broad spectrum of political
parties, civil society, and international partners. The entire process
was facilitated by the representatives of the United States, European
Union, Germany, and the Council of Europe. The participation of
Georgia's allies to reach the agreement and their outspoken support for
all parties to ratify the agreement was indispensable.
-- The new electoral system is modelled on that used for elections to the
European Parliament. The changes ratified by parliament will introduce a
new parliamentary composition based on 120 proportional and 30
majoritarian seats, as well as a 1% threshold for parties, and a cap
ensuring that no single party that garners less than 40% of votes may
claim a majority. The passage of these amendments incorporates key
OSCE/ODIHR recommendations.
NOTE: These materials are distributed by DCI Group AZ, L.L.C. for Political Union of Citizens "Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia," and additional information is on file with the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

CONTACT: Jerry Markon, jmarkon@dcigroup.com

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