Emergency Joint Statement by NGOs

Statements 14 November 2019

Today the Parliament of Georgia downvoted the draft constitutional amendments that envisaged holding the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2020 through a fully proportional election system. The decision of the Georgian Dream to backtrack on their key promise to change the election system can prove to be a pivotal point in the democratic development of the country. It is important to note that the transition to a fully proportional election system was not only the promise of a single political entity or the will of a small segment of the public, but it was the demand of the entire society and was supported by nearly all political parties and public groups.


The full responsibility for this decision lies with Bidzina Ivanishvili, the chairperson of the Georgian Dream party and the country’s informal ruler. In an effort to cling to power and maintain a state capture, Bidzina Ivanishvili is seemingly prepared to make use of an unfair election system to deprive voters of the opportunity to participate in the governance of the country and to unjustly seize parliamentary mandates.


It was clear to the government that this decision would result in mass public uproar and we have a reason to believe the government intentionally aggravated the situation in the past couple of days. This could be explained by the desire to cling to power by holding early parliamentary elections through the old election system.


We call on Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream, to reflect on the serious political crisis in the country and take appropriate measures to overcome them, for which there is no alternative but to immediately ensure the transition into a fully proportional election system.


Signatory organizations:


  • Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
  • International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
  • Institute for Democracy and Safe Development (IDSD)
  • The Open Society-Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
  • Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
  • Partnership for Human Rights (PHR)
  • Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia)
  • Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
  • Georgia's Reforms Associates (GRASS)
  • Society and Banks
  • Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
  • Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI)
  • Human Rights Center (HRC)
  • Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP)
  • World Experience for Georgia (Weg)
  • Management Systems Development Center (MSDC)
  • Georgian Media Club for Freedom
  • Atlantic Council of Georgia
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