Statement by Kakha Kaladze regarding ongoing events in Tbilisi
Statement by Kakha Kaladze regarding ongoing events in Tbilisi

Statement from Kakha Kaladze, the Secretary General of  ‘Georgian Dream’ party about ongoing events in Tbilisi.

‘On behalf of the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party, we would like to explain to the public the processes that have been taking place in recent days.

Yesterday, everyone clearly saw that the National Movement, along with its branches, was the real organizer of the protest rally. The demand for a proportional electoral system was the pretext for this demonstration, while the real aimwas to shift the political process to a destructive trajectory.

We would like to remind you that this political force ruled the country with a constitutional majority for nine years, and it never once considered replacing the mixed electoral system with a proportional one.

Moreover, the constitutional reform of 2010 was implemented in such a way that neither the National Movement, nor any of the political forces or other entities involved in the constitutional process, which we saw at the protest rally, even discussed the issue of changing the electoral system.

Later, in 2012-2016, the State Constitutional Commission was led by Davit Usupashvili, another participant of yesterday’s protest rally, who had not even touched the issue of constitutional reform, including transitioning to a proportional electoral system, for four years.

In 2017, following a boycott by precisely the same political forces, the Georgian Dream, led by Irakli Kobakhidze, carried out a successful constitutional reform and, for the first time in the history of Georgian constitutionalism, introduced a proportional electoral system, which will come into force in 2024.

This was the maximum – the complicated internal party consensus that was reached through great effort, against the backdrop of an overwhelmingly negative attitude of the largest part of majoritarian deputies.

Furthermore, had the parliamentary opposition of that time (which is manning the barricades today) supported the immediate change of the electoral system, that is, the transition to a proportional electoral system in 2020, this decision would now have been inscribed in the Constitution.

Correspondingly, whether the opponents like this or not, the Georgian Dream will be remembered in Georgian political history as the sole initiator and author of the transition to the proportional system of elections.

Naturally, every electoral system has its pros and cons. However, both electoral systems are legitimate and democratic. The 2020 elections will be held using a mixed system, as they have been for the past three decades.

It is public confidence, rather than the electoral system, that wins elections. We would like to remind you that in 2012, we replaced the regime of violence and cruelty, which was practically in full control of all the institutions and instruments connected with political processes, under conditions of precisely this electoral system.

The main slogan of the National Movement – power at any cost – remains unchanged. Since they have no chance of victory under any electoral system, they are trying to return to power together with Saakashvili (who was convicted by all three instances of the court) by introducing destructive processes. Naturally, this attempt is also doomed to failure.

Given the lack of resources to mobilize people, which was clearly demonstrated yesterday, they are now trying to introduce disorder into the political processes using cheap, destructive performances.

We will be as patient as possible. However, we would like to clearly state that if the destructive processes continue, the authorities will have an appropriate response.

The position expressed by our main international partners on the current developments is especially appreciated in this process. Georgia is an integral part of the civilized world and civilized rules of the game, naturally, require everyone to act within the law.

Less than one year remains before the elections. Correspondingly, we are no longer planning to discuss any new initiative regarding the electoral system.

The elections will be held within the rules and timeframe established by the current Constitution, with highest democratic standards and with high involvement of the international community.

Therefore, we urge the opponents to prepare for the elections and to refrain from blaming the electoral system for the lack of popular support’.

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