Opposition parties in Georgia, including ALDE Party member parties Free Democrats and the Republican Party, have signed a joint statement pledging not to participate in the next parliament claiming that the results have been fraudulently manipulated.
On Saturday 31 October, voters went to the polls across Georgia to elect members of parliament. When the exit poll was released support for the ruling party Georgian Dream was projected around 40% but in the results announced later by the Central Election Committee (CEC) this rose to 48.21% representing a big lead over the united opposition at 27.15%.
Opposition parties responded by dismissing the result, calling their supporters to protest in Tbilisi and signing a joint statement in which they state: “the final results published by the CEC do not reflect the will of the citizens of Georgia. To us, the opposition parties, it is absolutely clear that our fellow citizens rejected Ivanishvili’s rule and did not give him the mandate for a third term of ruling the country. Consequently, this parliament does not reflect the will of the electorate.”
It continues: “We, the opposition parties, who have had their elections rigged, are giving up our seats in parliament and will take all political and legal steps to prevent de jure and de facto entry into this so-called parliament. We do not recognise the legitimacy of this parliament, because it was elected as a result of fraudulent actions and does not express the will of the people.”
The statement concludes with the Democratic opposition demanding the electoral results be voided, for new elections to be held, and for all “systemic violations (including staffing of the Central Election Committee) which led to systemic fraudulent falsification of these elections” to be remedied.
A large-scale rally has been called for 8 November in Tbilisi.
The elections in Georgia were held for the first time according to a new system agreed earlier this year, with 120 of the 150 MPs to be elected according to a proportional system, and 30 seats distributed among winners in single-member majority constituencies. Before, 77 of the 150 MPs had been elected according to the proportional system and 73 in single-member constituencies. The reforms also lowered the threshold to just 1% for parties to win a seat in parliament.
48 parties and two electoral blocs ran for 150 seats.
The turnout was 56.11%, with 1,970,540 voters casting their ballots.
Independent local election observers said there had been multiple irregularities, while International monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly said in a joint statement that the elections “were competitive and, overall, fundamental freedoms were respected.”