Concept

Elections in Georgia (country)

Summary
The single-chamber Parliament of Georgia has 150 members, elected for a four-year term through elections. The last presidential elections were held in October 2018 due to constitutional changes taking effect in 2024, after which the president will be elected for a five-year term by a parliamentary college of electors. The series of constitutional changes, initiated in 2017, stipulated a one-time transitional presidential term of six years for 2018–2024. Other major systemic changes included a move to a fully proportional system by 2024 with a 5% threshold. At the time of the 2017 constitutional change, the 150-seat Georgian parliament was elected through a mixed system of 77 seats by proportional representation (5% threshold) and 73 single-seat majoritarian constituencies. The pressure for a change to a more proportional system started after the 2016 parliamentary election when ruling Georgian Dream garnered 115 out of 150 seats, clearing the constitutional majority of 75%, while it had an overall vote share of 48.7%. Their parliamentary supermajority was driven by winning 71 out of 73 majoritarian constituencies. Ruling Georgian Dream MPs, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary opposition, legal experts and civil society organizations became member of the State Commission at the end of 2016, which was tasked with drafting constitutional reform. The reforms proposed a change to a fully proportional system for 2020, among other things, but during the process in 2017 ruling Georgian Dream unilaterally changed the constitutional proposals by postponing the electoral transition an election cycle to 2024, inciting national and international criticism. This remained a divisive issue in the following years. In summer 2019 protests in Georgia demanded once more a change to a fully proportional system for the 2020 Georgian parliamentary election which secured a promise from Georgian Dream party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili to do so. In November 2019, however, individual members of parliament voted against a bill to change the electoral system, sparking renewed protests.
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