The United National Movement party chair in the state legislature, Khatia Dekanoidze, said Wednesday that the ruling Georgian Dream party had plans to change the election rule for the chair of the country’s Central Election Commission, to diminish the opposition’s role in the process.
"A statement made on Tuesday by the GD MP Irakli Kadagishvili is alarming. The GD is ready to change the procedure for the appointment of the CEC chairman, which is part of the Charles Michel agreement, and envisages the appointment of the chairman by votes ⅔ of MPs”, Dekanoidze said.
Kadagishvili suggested that some procedures relating to the CEC were “artificial” and needed to be modified.
The chair of Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, Anri Okhanashvili, from the GD said that the issue had not been raised so far.
"Theoretically, it is possible to change any rule, and theoretically it is possible for the legislative body to discuss it within its limits.
Theoretically, it is possible to discuss it someday, but today this issue will not be discussed," Okhanashvili said.
In remarks, local NGOs expressed hope that existing procedures for the CEC chair election would not be changed.
“Changing the procedure for electing the chairman of the CEC, first of all, means rejecting Charles Michel's document once again, I hope this will not happen. However, we have repeatedly seen such changes from the ruling team, which are favourable for them and fit the specific political context, “ Nino Dolidze, head od International;
Society for Fair Elections and Democracy said.
The European Council President Charles Michel mediated a document in April 2020 to help Georgian political parties end a several-month political standoff in Georgia.
However, the ruling party withdrew from the document in July of 2020, citing the refusal of the UNM to join the deal as the reason.