Placing a Spotlight on Georgia’s October Parliamentary Election
- Eka Gigauri, Executive Director, Transparency International Georgia Khatia Jinjikhadze, Media Support Program Manager, Open Society Georgia Foundation
- Hatia Jinjikhadze, Media Support Program Manager, Open Society Georgia Foundation
- Amb. Batu Kutelia, former Ambassador of Georgia to the United States and former Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia
- Elene Nizharadze, Executive Director, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy
- Alina Inayeh, Director, Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Brittany Beaulieu, Non-Resident Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Jonathan Katz, Senior Fellow and Director, Democracy Initiatives, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
The German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Frontlines of Democracy Initiative and Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation invite you to a timely discussion focused on the Republic of Georgia’s upcoming parliamentary election.
On October 31 Georgians will go to the polls to determine Georgia’s next government and parliament. The election is taking place under difficult circumstances given the social, economic, and public health fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. There is also increased polarization, political tension, and an erosion of trust in government in Georgia that will likely impact the outcome of the election. A poll conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Center earlier this year showed that a majority of the population distrusts the current political elite with 80 percent of Georgians wanting a “new political force” to take over.
The Georgian Dream party led by Bidzina Ivanishvili has controlled Georgia’s government since 2012. Polling conducted this summer by the International Republican Institute has the Georgian Dream party in front of the leading opposition party, United National Movement. However new dynamics and factors are likely to shape the outcome of the election and who leads the next government. This past summer the Georgian parliament approved several constitutional amendments and election code reforms, leading to a new mixed electoral system. How will this and other changes impact the elections and separation of powers between the Parliament and the executive? In addition, Georgia’s Central Election Commission has registered 66 parties to run in the upcoming election and with a lowered 1 percent threshhold, there are likely to be new parties entering parliament and possibly new coalitions forming.
In addition to domestic issues of concern to voters from the economy, coronavirus, and health, Georgians are also focused on other challenges including security and territorial integrity, relations with Russia, and Georgia’s integration and potential membership in the European Union and NATO. How will the outcome of the election impact Georgia’s ability to address domestic and foreign policy issues? Will a potential coalition government be able to push back against the Kremlin's continued aggression, work to support continued rule of law and anti-corruption efforts, and retain its Euro-Atlantic ambitions? Joining us for this timely webinar are leading Georgian experts and civil society leaders who will address these topics.
If you have any questions, please contact John Alexander at [email protected].