Placing a Spotlight on Georgia’s October Parliamentary Election
USA recognizes parliamentary elections in Georgia as competitive
Georgian opposition threatens to boycott the new parliament, and the CEC begins to revise the voting protocols
The United States Department of State said the parliamentary elections in Georgia were competitive. At the same time, Washington believes that violations recorded during the voting should be studied and eliminated..
“We share the OSCE’s assessment: the parliamentary elections in Georgia were competitive and fundamental freedoms were protected, but accusations of pressure on voters and blurring the boundaries between party and state undermined public confidence. Errors and documented violations must be answered, “Kyle Brown, Deputy Speaker of the US Department of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, tweeted..
Recall that after counting 100% of the votes, the CEC announced that according to proportional lists, the ruling Georgian Dream gained 48.15%, and the main opposition force, the United National Movement – Strength in Unity bloc, received 27.14%. They are followed by seven parties with three percent or less, including the pro-Russian Alliance of Patriots. Nevertheless, the Georgian opposition parties, which received mandates, decided to boycott the parliament of the tenth convocation, as they believe that the results were falsified in favor of the ruling party..
Another 30 deputies to the Georgian parliament are elected by majority lists. After counting the votes, the CEC announced that candidates from the ruling party had won in fourteen single-mandate constituencies, and a second round would be required in sixteen, since none of the candidates could overcome the fifty percent barrier. If the opposition does not change its decision and announces a boycott of the second round, candidates from the ruling party will automatically win in single-mandate constituencies, and accordingly, Georgian Dream will receive 91 seats in the new parliament. This is enough for the parliament of the new convocation to convene, and the deputies recognize its powers..
“The best option”
Nika Chitadze, the head of the Center for the Study of Security and International Relations, believes that the best option in the current situation is to recount the ballots of October 31, as a result of which it will be possible to obtain evidence confirming or refuting the opposition’s accusations.
According to the political scientist, the opposition’s demand for a repeat election is hardly justified, since there is no guarantee that the next elections will be held to a higher standard, moreover, this will be a heavy burden on the country’s budget..
“The opposition claims that the difference between real and official results is 2-4 percent, which is a lot, since it is these figures that can decide who will end up with the majority in parliament. The deadline for the publication of the final results by the CEC is November 19, let’s hope that by this time the parties will be able to come to a common decision and, as a result of the recount of votes, there will already be undeniable data on what kind of support the parties have, ”Chitadze said in a comment for Russkaya Voice of America service
Nika Chitadze is convinced that the democratic development of the country will suffer without opposition in parliament. The expert believes that a politician without a parliamentary tribune loses leverage on the political life of the state, and that the opinions and assessments of Georgian opposition deputies have more than once been reflected in the final versions of laws and resolutions adopted by the parliament..
“Halfway to a Possible Victory”
Political analyst Alexander Mikiashvili noted in a commentary for the Russian service of the Voice of America that in general, as a result of the established one percent barrier, nine political parties got into the new parliament, which creates a unique opportunity for less popular parties to participate in the decision-making process..
“It will be a shame if only MPs from the ruling force are present in the parliament of the tenth convocation,” the expert noted..
Mikiashvili recalled that on November 4, the Georgian Central Election Commission announced that it was studying up to 7,900 protocols, including mechanical and technical errors. The expert believes that the opposition should make a decision on the boycott after the CEC responds to all complaints.
“Perhaps this is the tactic of the opposition: to demand the maximum, that is, repeated elections, in order to get the minimum – that is, fair results of the vote count. In any case, I believe that opponents of the authorities should avoid hasty decisions and take part in the second round of voting, since it is hardly justified to give up the fight halfway to a possible victory, first of all in the eyes of voters, ”the expert summed up.