Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Chairman of the Georgian Dream, released a statement on recent political developments.
The statement of Bidzina Ivanishvili:
“Today when our country is on the path of democratic development as the leader of the ruling political party, I consider it necessary to respond to the processes that are unfolding in the Parliament these days.
I am disappointed that in the end, our initiative was rejected. Unfortunately, the bill was rejected because of the part of the Georgian Dream"s deputies.
People have a question: how the so-called “majoritarian revolt” developed so quickly in the ruling team, after the several-month constitutional process was successfully completed and the issue was brought to the vote?
In order to answer this question and avoid speculations, I consider myself obliged to remind the society of a number of indisputable facts.
The decision to move to a proportional electoral system was initiated by the Georgian Dream political team as early as 2017 within the framework of a constitutional reform amid an aggressive boycott organized by the opposition spectrum, NGOs and the party media. Relevant amendments were drafted, only at the expense of the votes of parliamentary majority of the ruling party. The UNM then boycotted the process, while we adopted a truly European constitution instead of a constitution adjusted to one leader and one political force, which was unequivocally praised by the entire international community.
It is no secret that the idea of switching to a proportional electoral system has never been popular among majoritarian MPs and most of them have never been enthusiastic about the reform, so our desire to abolish the mixed electoral system by 2020 failed to achieve an internal party consensus. Accordingly, a compromise decision was made to move to a proportional electoral system in 2024.
The events developed in the summer, the protest of the part of the public was adequately responded by the ruling is quite – the Chairman of Parliament resigned, while the Georgian Dream decided to hold the 2020 elections in the proportional system, with a zero barrier.
I will not hide that I was the author of this initiative and the team, in spite of the hesitation of some majoritarians, supported this idea and the majority of majoritarians obeyed the party discipline.
We hoped that our bold political act would be perceived positively by other actors involved in the process and that we would receive a constructive response.
Unfortunately it didn"t happen.
The statements and actions of the UNM and its satellites made it clear that the Georgian Dream"s attempt to bring the country"s political culture to a new level was only our desire. The endless destructions, attempts to make a chaos in the country or the church, aggressive rhetoric, cynicism, jealousy and personal insults - this is how the irresponsible opposition and its satellite organizations responded to our initiative.
The dissatisfaction has not begun today or yesterday within the ruling team. We and other leaders have made great efforts to save the process.
However, the opposition did its best to break the fragile consensus that our team had in the summer. When the discussion of the initiative was practically over and the issue was to be brought to the vote, members of the UNM insulted the majority MPs directly in the parliament hall, which, as it seems, could not be tolerated by a large number of the majoritarians. And I, unfortunately, could not bring them back to a constructive space.
Our team is not a facade, but a real democracy, which eliminates any attempt to change one"s own principled position. We have given up on the monolithic, administrative-ruling style of both the Soviet and the National Movement. There is a natural process of difference and discussion in our team, and our society has seen many examples.
As the leader of the ruling political force, I reaffirm my support for the transition to a proportional electoral system in 2020, and I am truly sorry that this has not happened - with my team and government, I can guarantee that Georgia"s democratic development process will be irreversible. The free and fair elections of 2020 will be a precondition and a prominent example of this”, - reads the statement.