U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan said “I have great respect for Mr. Kobakhidze’s knowledge and experience in Constitutional law, and many other Constitutional experts that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with here in Georgia. This country is really blessed with many well-educated and well-informed Constitutional law specialists.”
Ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze yesterday echoed a statement of US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan, saying “some don’t seem to understand that a democracy requires a plurality of views, one person, one party ruling, everything works against that. In fact, that risks the tyranny of the majority.”
Kobakhidze said, “two per cent and lower electoral thresholds are in effect in two EU member states, and no tyranny is formed there. I’m telling you this as an expert as Kelly Degnan is not an expert herself.”
“As it turns out, I too have a background in Constitutional law, including helping a country write its Constitution, and this involved a comparative analysis of many different Constitutions and political systems; comparing what has worked well in one system or another is very important and useful, but in the end, it is each country that needs to decide what is best for its system. And Georgia’s leaders spent a great deal of time debating and discussing the question of what is right for Georgia.
That is one of the reasons why there was the 1% threshold in the October 2020 parliamentary elections, and I think all of the party leaders, including the ruling party, agreed that it was quite a positive outcome that that low threshold produced nine very diverse parties in parliament. And, for that reason, after the parliamentary elections, when the political leaders discussed this issue again, they agreed that a two per cent threshold and fully proportional elections are the right thing for Georgia and in Georgia’s best interests at this time in its democratic development.
While many people expected the fully proportional elections to take effect in 2019, they are now in the Constitution, and now this 2%, threshold is designed to continue to bring in a multi-party system that will allow more diversity in the parliament and more Georgian voices and views to be represented in parliament, and that is very important. That was the agreement of Georgia’s political leaders for what is in Georgia’s best interests at this time,” Kelly Degnan underscored.