DRI: The amendments planned to be made to the Election Code cast doubt on the Government's intention to fulfill the 12 priorities in good faith
The Parliament of Georgia supported the draft law initiated by the ruling party on making amendments to the Election Code in one reading, which changes the procedure for electing the chairman and members of the Central Election Commission.
According to the proposed changes, instead of the President, the Chairman of the Parliament will have the authority to present the candidacies for the positions of the chairman and members of the Central Election Commission to the Parliament. The Parliament of Georgia will elect 7 members of the Central Election Commission and the chairman of the Central Election Commission by the majority of the full composition after their nomination by the Speaker of the Parliament.
According to the draft law, in order to elect the chairman and members of the Central Election Commission, the majority will no longer need the votes of the parliamentary opposition, because instead of 2/3 of the Members of Parliament, the consent of the majority of the full composition will be sufficient. The election of the Central Election Commission chairman and members by 2/3 was part of the Charles Michel agreement of April 19.
However, in this part, the ruling party broke the agreement in December 2021 as well.
With the proposed changes, the ruling party aims to exclude the roles of both the opposition and the President from the process, which will not contribute to the formation of an independent election commission free from political influences.
According to the constitution, in the cases determined and procedures established by the organic law, the President of Georgia shall participate in the appointment of the chairman and members of the Central Election Commission of Georgia. The ruling party formally ensured the compliance of the organic law with the constitution, with the participation of one representative of the President of Georgia in the competition commission created for the selection of members of the Central Election Commission.
In order to receive the EU candidate status, the main recommendation during the implementation of the priorities of the European Commission is to make decisions on the basis of a broad political consensus. The legislative changes proposed by the ruling party once again question the intention of the Georgian authorities to conscientiously fulfill the 12 priorities defined by the European Commission.
The Democracy Research Institute urges the parliamentary majority not to allow the initiated draft law to be adopted and to continue working to fulfill the 12 priorities of the European Commission.