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Georgian president calls for dialogue between authorities and opposition

Georgia’s forthcoming parliamentary elections are due in October 2020

TBILISI, November 15. /TASS/. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili on Friday called on the authorities and the opposition to find a common language and create conditions for fair elections amidst street protest in the Georgian capital city.

"I call on the authorities and the opposition to use all the possibilities to find a common language, to improve the electoral code and create favorable conditions for fair elections. I am confident that we do have strength enough to get out of this tense situation," she said in a statement on Friday.

She stressed that the country needed stability and the nation was tired of tensions. "Our society is tired of endless scandals and crises. It needs perspectives rather than non-stop insulting and ungrounded barracking. We need maximum tranquility at the parliamentary elections next year," she stressed.

The Georgian president expressed regret that the country’s parliament had voted down constitutional amendments envisaging the use of the proportional system at the parliamentary polls in 2020. "It’s a pity that such an initiative that was loudly announced and that was in line with the recommendations of the international community and was taken by it positively has not been implemented. It gives grounds for negative assessments of the processes in our country," Zurabishvili noted.

Protests in Georgia

The Georgian parliament on November 14 refused to support the idea of constitutional changes concerning the 2020 parliamentary elections on the basis of a proportional system with a zero threshold. Most lawmakers from the ruling party that had initiated the bill opposed this idea.

Angry opposition and civil activists turned out for a large rally in Tbilisi in front of the parliament building. They put the blame entirely on the leader of the ruling party, Bidzina Ivanishvili who had announced transition from the mixed system to the proportional one ahead of the forthcoming elections. Holding elections on the basis of a proportional system was one of the demands the protesters in front of the Georgian parliament pressed for three months starting from June 20.

Immediately after the voting those members of the ruling Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia party who disagreed with the outcome began to quit the party. By now, eight legislators have handed in their party membership cards. The opposition and civil activists declared open-ended protest demonstrations.

Georgia’s forthcoming parliamentary elections are due in October 2020.