The Georgian capital was gripped by its second in five months, a wave of large-scale demonstrations. The venue of the protest the same – the Rustaveli Avenue outside the Parliament, reports TASS. To protect the legislature commandos arrived, although the authorities speak of “planned rotation”.
In June, the citizens were angry over the participation of the Russian delegation under the leadership of state Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov in the session of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), and now the reason for the protest was the failure of the vote in the Parliament of Georgia on the constitutional amendment on elections.
The impetus for the rallies was the fact that the ruling party “Georgian dream – Democratic Georgia” on Thursday failed amendments to the Constitution, providing for the holding of parliamentary elections in 2020 according to the proportional system at zero electoral barrier. This idea was proposed by the head of the ruling party, Ivanishvili in June, when the country was overwhelmed by mass protests due to the session map.
“101 deputies in favor, three against. Needed a quorum of the 113 deputies. These votes are insufficient for decision”, – stated the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Archil Talakvadze, summing up the voting results.
Before the vote, within two days the Parliament has carried out intense debate. As it became clear during consideration of the bill, not all MPs from the ruling party agreed with the bill, developed by the same party. Mostly against the transition to a proportional system advocated majoritarian MPs from the majority. Their main argument was that the regions would lose the connection with the center, and thus the villagers will not be able to convey their problems to the authorities.
Immediately after the “Georgian dream” failed vote, opposition politicians called on their supporters to go out. Against the ruling party is ready to act as representatives of the party of ex-President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili “United national movement” and the members of the political Association “United Georgia – democratic movement”, whose leader is an outspoken opponent of the former President, the former speaker of Parliament Nino Burjanadze. Protest supports the “Alliance of patriots of Georgia”, which was in favour of condemnation of Saakashvili’s regime.
“Today we are all deceived. The deputies of the “Georgian dream”, which failed bill in the first place cheated the people of Georgia, the population of the country, all political parties and even members of his team, has created a severe political and state crisis,” – said Burjanadze.
During the rally in which up to three thousand people, the opposition announced its first requirement is the holding of early elections to Parliament under the proportional system. They believe that this scheme is most honestly reflected the mood of society in the legislature. The ruling party on this requirement already refused. Ex-speaker of the Parliament, Executive Secretary of “Georgian dream” Irakli Kobakhidze said that holding early elections “and speech cannot be”.
The protesters set up tents on the roadway Rustaveli Avenue. A number of Georgian mass media informs about the transfer of special vehicles and special forces of the Georgian interior Ministry on the territory of the legislature.
In the interior Ministry denied the information that in the Parliament building, drove a convoy of cars with special forces soldiers. The Ministry said that the convoy of vehicles of the Ministry of interior was moved under the usual “planned rotation” which “nothing is connected”, according to Colossal.
Against the background of sharp growth of protest activity of the U.S. Embassy in Georgia urged to caution their citizens in Georgia. According to the statement, the diplomatic corps, 14 November 2019 the staff of the American authorities were warned of possible demonstrations in front of Parliament, and that they avoid places of demonstrations.
In addition, citizens of the U.S. had to be prepared for road congestion in the city due to protests, according to the Georgian First channel.
The failure of the constitutional amendments are costly to the ruling party. The Georgian dream coalition left just eight deputies. The fraction of “Conservatives”, a member of the parliamentary majority, said on Friday announce his decision to leave or not the ruling ranks. The media is already talking about the fact that the parliamentary majority is falling apart, although the authorities categorically deny.
“United national movement” has already announced the holding of another meeting on Sunday at the Parliament building. This day on the Republic square near the legislature, their action will satisfied with “Alliance of patriots of Georgia”.
Under the current version of the Constitution of Georgia, the parliamentary elections planned for October 2020, to be held at the traditional mixed system – 77 deputies are elected on proportional lists, and 73 in majority. It is noteworthy that in the 2024 elections will be held on a fully proportional system, only with the difference that the electoral threshold will be 5%.