2020 Georgian parliamentary election

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2020 Georgian parliamentary election
Georgia (country)
← 2016 31 October 2020 (first round)
21 November 2020 (second round)
2024 →

All 150 seats in the Parliament
76 seats needed for a majority
Turnout56.11% (Increase 4.17 pp) (first round)
26.29% (second round)
Party Leader % Seats ±
Georgian Dream Giorgi Gakharia 48.22 90 -25
Strength is in Unity Vakhtang Kikabidze 27.18 36 +9
European Georgia Davit Bakradze 3.79 5 New
Lelo Mamuka Khazaradze 3.15 4 New
Strategy Builder Giorgi Vashadze 3.15 4 New
APG Irma Inashvili 3.14 4 -2
Girchi Zurab Japaridze 2.89 4 New
Citizens Aleko Elisashvili 1.33 2 New
SLP Shalva Natelashvili 1.00 1 +1
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Results of the 2020 Georgia Parliamentary Election.png
Results of the 2020 Georgian parliamentary election, with proportional results on the right and constituency results on the left.[1]
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Giorgi Gakharia Giorgi Gakharia
Georgian Dream
Giorgi Gakharia
Georgian Dream
Giorgi Gakharia

Parliamentary elections were held in Georgia on 31 October and 21 November 2020 to elect the 150 members of Parliament. The opposition boycotted the second round of the elections and called on voters to abstain; turnout in the second round was subsequently only 26.29%. On 3 November 2020, opposition parties withdrew their parliamentary representation after allegations of voting frauds.

Electoral system[edit]

In the previous election, 150 members of Parliament were elected by two methods; 77 were from a single nationwide constituency using closed list proportional representation with a 5% electoral threshold which was to be lowered to 3% for the 2020 election.[2] The other 73 were elected in single-member constituencies using two-round system, in which candidates had to receive over 50% of the valid vote to win in the first round. A second round was held between the top two candidates if there was no winner in the first round.[3]

New electoral law[edit]

Newly proposed majoritarian division of Georgia with larger districts

In June 2019, Georgian Dream announced plans to change the electoral system to full party-list proportional representation without an electoral threshold. Despite being supported by opposition parties, the legislation failed to be passed as only 101 of the 150 MPs voted in favour, fewer than the required 75% to change the electoral law.[4]

After the failure of the proposed amendments to be passed with the 75% of votes from parliamentary deputies, the government and the opposition held several rounds of talks, and in early March 2020, a memorandum of understanding was issued from all the parties of the political spectrum. The new electoral law stipulates that 120 deputies will be elected via proportional representation, while another 30 will be elected from single-member constituencies. The constituencies will be drawn according to the instructions given by the Venice Commission, and the Georgian judiciary. For proportional representation seats, the electoral threshold is 1%. For single-member constituencies, a candidate will gain the status of a parliamentary deputy if they gain 50% of votes in the first round. If that does not happen, the top two candidates will take part in a run-off whose winner will be elected. The US Embassy at Tbilisi lauded these agreements, as did leading European diplomats who have desired the 2020 elections to be free and transparent. No party can obtain a majority of seats without getting at least 40% of votes from the electorate.[5]

In its first hearing on 21 June, Georgian parliament passed the electoral reforms. 136 MPs voted for these reforms, while 5 MPs voted against.[6] On second reading of the bill, 115 MPs voted for the reforms, while 3 voted against and 1 abstained. The opposition United National Movement and European Georgia did not participate in the voting, as they demanded release of opposition figures i.e. Giorgi Rurua.[7]

On 29 June 2020, the electoral reforms were adopted by the Georgian Parliament, with 117 out of 142 members voting in support for the reforms.[8] U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed these electoral reforms, calling on the Parliament and officials to respect the will of the people.[9]

Further changes to the election code[edit]

The Georgian parliament passed further electoral reforms; however, the ultimate constitutional changes came from OSCE-ODIHR suggestions to the existing electoral code rather than the negotiations between the government and opposition. These include the regulation of election ads, the involvement of non-government entities in the electoral process, the regulation of the publication of opinion polls, and introducing a gender quota of 25%. The quota will remain intact till 2028. No fewer than one in three candidates in each party must belong to other gender. 94 MPs supported these reforms, while European Georgia and UNM boycotted the vote.[10] The US embassy praised the reforms, though voiced concerns over the remaining gaps in the electoral legislation, including lack of transparency in selecting Election Commission Members, dispute resolution, voter intimidation and providing for alternative channels to campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

Pre-election period and campaign[edit]

Ahead of the elections, UNM, European Georgia, Labour Party, and New Georgia formed an alliance. On 19 June 2020, they announced a joint slate of six candidates, who will compete in elections in Tbilisi. Newly formed party Lelo for Georgia refused to join the alliance. Analysts say that although Georgian Dream suffered a dip in popularity in the aftermath of crackdowns on the 2019-2020 anti-corruption protests, its relatively successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a boost in popularity .[12]

Problems soon began to emerge in the alliance. Leader of the Citizens Party Aleko Elishasvili left the alliance, accusing the opposition of acting in their own self-interests, and espousing pro-Russian views. The opposition, in turn, accused Elishasvili of trying to ruin the alliance's unity.[13]

By 19 June 2020, the opposition alliance consisted of 31 political parties.[14]

The opposition Girchi Party said that if it enters parliament, it will give away Tesla cars to voters who turn out in elections via lottery. They said that they would purchase the cars with the state funding awarded to parliamentary parties.[15]

On 4 September 2020, the election commission said that 66 parties had successfully registered to run in the 2020 election.[16]

Opinion polls[edit]

Date Pollster GD UNM EG SLP APG DMUG Citizens Girchi Lelo DM Others/NA Lead
October 2020 IPSOS 23% 18% 4% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 3% 41% 5%
October 2020 Public Opinion Strategies 56% 19.9% 4.3% 2.2% 4.6% 1.6% N/A 3% 3.9% 4.5% 36.1%
October 2020 Survation 55% 22% 4% 2% 3% N/A N/A 2% 4% 8% 33%
October 2020 European Georgia 27% 19% 11.7% 4.1% 1.4% N/A 1.9% 4.0% 5.1% 15.3% 8.8%
October 2020 IPSOS 26.2% 17.8% 5.3% 2.1% 1.2% 0.7% 0.5% 2.7% 2.7% 34% 8.4%
October 2020 Edison Research 36% 17% 5% 3% 3% 1% 1% 2% 2% 24% 19%
October 2020 IPSOS 24.5% 17.4% 6.9% 1.9% 1.7% 1.0% 1.0% 1.7% 3.4% 33% 7.1%
September 2020 IPSOS 25% 15.5% 5% 3% 3% 2.5% 1.5% 2.5% 2% 33% 9.5%
September 2020 Edison Research 38% 15% 6% 3% 3% 1% 1% 3% 3% 23% 23%
August 2020 Edison Research Archived 2020-10-01 at the Wayback Machine 38% 16% 6% 3% 3% 2% 3% 5% 5% 15% 22%
August 2020 IRI 33% 16% 5% 3% 3% 1% 2% 2% 4% 29% 17%
July 2020 Edison Research 39% 16% 5% 3% 3% 1% 0% 2% 3% 1%[a] 27% 23%
February 2020 Edison Research 37% 22% 8% 6% 6% 2% 3% 2% 7% 3%[a] 4% 15%
February 2020 Ipsos 34% 24% 10% 6% 5% 2% 3% 3% 8% 5% 10%
January 2020 Ipsos 22% 17% 9% 4% 4% 2% 2% 2% 6% 32% 5%
December 2019 NDI 20% 13% 8% 5% 4% 2% 3% 2% 5% 38% 7%
October 2019 IRI 23% 15% 5% 5% 4% 2% 4% 2% 7% 33% 8%
October 2019 Edison Research 26% 18% 7% 4% 4% 2% 3% 3% 4% 2% 27% 8%
September 2019 IRI 23% 15% 5% 5% 4% 2% 3% 2% 3% 2% 36% 8%
June 2019 IRI 26% 22% 7% 5% 5% 2% 2% 1% - - 30% 4%
May 2019 Ipsos 29% 22% 10% 5% 5% <3% <3% <3% - - >20% 7%
April 2019 NDI 17% 14% 3% <3% 3% <3% <3% <3% - - >51% 3%
December 2018 NDI 24% 11% 3% <3% 3% <3% <3% <3% - - >47% 13%
28 October 2018 Presidential elections 38% 37% 10% 3% - - - 2% - 2% 8% 1%
June–July 2018 NDI 20% 11% 4% 3% <3% <3% <3% <3% - - >50% 9%
10-22 April 2018 IRI 27% 17% 7% 5% 4% 3% <3% <3% - - >31% 10%
March–April 2018 NDI 31% 9% 5% 3% 3% <3% <3% <3% - - >40% 22%
November–December 2017 NDI 27% 10% 3% <3% 3% <3% <3% <3% - - >45% 17%
21 October 2017 Local elections 55% 17% 10% 3% 6% 3% - - - 1% 5% 38%
18 June–9 July 2017 NDI 27% 8% 3% <3% <3% <3% <3% <3% - - >47% 19%
22 February–8 March 2017 IRI 30% 15% 8% 6% 4% 3% <3% <3% - - >28% 15%
8 October 2016 Parliamentary elections 49% 27% 3% 5% 4% 12% 21%

Conduct[edit]

Al Jazeera correspondent Robin Forestier-Walker reported that most voters were able to cast their ballots "safely and freely", although there were incidences of violence.[17] The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly stated that "elections were competitive", while also reported "pervasive allegations of pressure on voters and blurring of the line between the ruling party and the state".[18] The United States embassy in Georgia, commenting on the OSCE statement, said: "We call on all parties to address these deficiencies in advance of the second round and in future elections. These efforts to corrupt the electoral process through voter intimidation, vote buying, interfering with ballot secrecy, blurring of party and official activities, and violence against election observers and journalists, while not sufficient to invalidate the results, continue to mar Georgia’s electoral process and are unacceptable."[19]

Results[edit]

Voter turnout by constituency
Most voted-for party (top) and the second most voted=for party (bottom) by constituency.[20]

Four exit polls showed ruling Georgian Dream leading in the elections. An exit poll conducted by Imedi TV showed Georgian Dream leading with 55% of votes, while according to polls conducted by Rustavi 2 showed GD securing 52.26% of votes cast. Mtavari Arkhi and Formula TV consecutively showed the party winning 41% and 46% of votes. Shortly after, Georgian Dream declared victory.[21] However, the opposition refused to concede defeat and claimed that they had secured enough votes to form a coalition government. UNM leader David Kirtadze said, "This is not a real picture."

Party Proportional Constituency Total
Seats
+/–
First round Second round
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Georgian Dream 928,004 48.22 60 13 17 90 -25
Strength is in Unity
* United National Movement
* Republican Party of Georgia
* State for the People
* European Democrats
* Progress and Freedom
523,127 27.18 36 0 0 36 +9
Movement for Liberty - European Georgia 72,986 3.79 5 0 0 5 New
Lelo for Georgia 60,712 3.15 4 0 0 4 New
Strategy Aghmashenebeli
* Strategy Aghmashenebeli
* Law and Justice
60,671 3.15 4 0 0 4 New
Alliance of Patriots of Georgia 60,480 3.14 4 0 0 4 -2
New Political Center — Girchi 55,598 2.89 4 0 0 4 New
Citizens 25,508 1.33 2 0 0 2 New
Georgian Labour Party 19,314 1.00 1 0 0 1 +1
Democratic Movement – United Georgia 16,286 0.85 0 0 0 0 0
Other parties 5.3 0 0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes
Total 1,970,540 100 120 13 17 150 0
Registered voters/turnout 3,511,853 56.11
Source: CEC CEC

Aftermath[edit]

Following the first round, protests were held in Tbilisi, with around 45,000 people attending a protest on 8 November that was eventually broken up with water cannons.[22]

Eight opposition parties stated that they would not attend parliamentary sittings.[23] On 3 November 2020, all Georgian opposition parties signed a joint statement renouncing their seats in the parliament until the parliamentary elections (which they consider null and void) are repeated.[24][better source needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b the Development Movement was dissolved in December 2019, with most of its members joining Lelo for Georgia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Central Election Commission Summarized Results of the 31 October Parliamentary Elections of Georgia". Cesko. Central Election Commission. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  2. ^ Key Points of Newly Adopted Constitution Civil.ge
  3. ^ Electoral system IPU
  4. ^ Ruling party proposed election bill scrapped Agenda, 14 November 2019
  5. ^ "Georgian parties sign election reform memorandum after months of talks". Rferl.
  6. ^ "Georgian Parliament passes electoral bill in first hearing". Agenda.ge.
  7. ^ "Important electoral reform in Georgia – constitutional amendments pass second reading". June 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "Georgia: Government and Opposition Join Forces on Electoral Reform Compromise". Freedom House.
  9. ^ "US Secretary of State Pompeo welcomes adoption of Georgian constitutional amendments". Agenda.ge.
  10. ^ "Georgian Parliament Endorses Changes to Electoral Code in Final Reading". July 3, 2020.
  11. ^ "Statement on the Passage of OSCE/ODIHR-Based Election Reforms (July 2)". U.S. Embassy in Georgia. July 2, 2020.
  12. ^ "Georgian opposition starts uniting ahead of fall elections | Eurasianet". eurasianet.org.
  13. ^ "First crack appears in the united Georgian opposition". June 25, 2020.
  14. ^ "Georgian opposition agrees on candidates for majoritarian MPs in Tbilisi". June 19, 2020.
  15. ^ "Come out to the polls and win a Tesla: one Georgian opposition party's initiative". July 15, 2020.
  16. ^ "66 Parties Registered to Contest Parliament Seats". Civil Georgia. 7 September 2020. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Georgia opposition rejects election results, stages protest". Al Jazeera. 1 November 2020. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  18. ^ Fundamental freedoms respected in competitive Georgian elections, but allegations of pressure and blurring of line between party and state reduced confidence, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, November 1, 2020.
  19. ^ U.S. Embassy Statement on Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections US embassy in Georgia, November 1, 2020
  20. ^ "October 31, 2020 Parliamentary Elections of Georgia, Preliminary Results". CEC. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  21. ^ "Ruling party leads in Georgia's parliamentary vote: Exit polls". Al Jazeera. 31 October 2020. Archived from the original on 20 April 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  22. ^ Thousands rally in Georgia’s Tbilisi against election results 14 November 2020
  23. ^ Georgia protests: Tbilisi police fire water cannon at demonstrators BBC News, 8 November 2020
  24. ^ Opposition parties in Georgia sign joint statement renouncing their seats in parliament Jam news, November 3, 2020