Voting rights reform in Georgia: lying and still better

Voting rights reform in Georgia: lying and still better

Practice must show what the Georgian electoral law reform is worth. However, the opposition is more interested in revenge than in constructive work.

A few months before the Georgians go to the polls, the parliament in Tbilisi still passed an electoral reform. Even if pressure from the US and the EU was required, the result is impressive. From now on, 120 of the 150 MPs will be elected via lists. A party that receives less than 40 percent of the vote is dependent on a coalition partner. And the blocking clause of one percent will enable smaller groups to make themselves known in the people’s representation in the future.

However, it is bordering on a hypocrisy that the prime minister of the governing party “Georgian Dream”, Giorgi Gakharia, now praises this event as a further step on the way to more democracy and rapprochement between the South Caucasus and the West.

After all, he is the man who, as Minister of the Interior, had no problem in the past, brutally throwing demonstrators into the center of the capital, and was responsible for acts that have not yet been fully investigated. And it is he who, with the other “Georgian dreamers” under the aegis of the billionaire Bidzina Ivanischwili, broke the promised electoral law reform.

Practice must show what the reform is worth. This is especially true in a polarized country like Georgia, where parties are still one-man shows. One thing is certain: the “Georgian Dream” will no longer have a walk as comfortable as in 2016.

The opposition is eager to forge alliances. But especially for the United National Movement, the strongest force in the anti-government camp, it is less concerned with constructive opposition work than driven by a desire to avenge the government.

But depending on how the distribution of power in parliament will look like: One or the other MP will be happy to buy. It would not be the first time.

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