Reforms in the air and push back to the past

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Most of the opposition, including the signatories to the Charles Michel Agreement, remain in parliament hoping that, with the help of international partners, they will still force the Georgian Dream to make constitutional changes. The opposition says a 43% threshold remains in place. Reactions from international partners have been sharp, especially from the United States, although the Georgian Dream is not going to give up.

  • What is the situation on the Georgian political field two months before the elections?
  • Has political life returned to what it was before the Charles Michel Agreement?

It can be said that the parliamentary opposition parties are still on standby. They are waiting for effective steps and concrete response after the harsh statements of international partners. The general and principled task of the opposition is to achieve the constitutional reform defined by the “Charles Michel Agreement” – to achieve a proportional electoral system and a 2% threshold.

However, after the Georgian Dream unilaterally withdrew from the agreement reached on April 19 and promised unilaterally to continue the reforms, the future of the constitutional bill was automatically questioned.

The Secretary General of “Strategy Builder”, MP Paata Manjgaladze is a 9-member member of the General Public Discussion Commission working on the constitutional amendments.

This list was approved on July 12 and, as a rule, the counting of the one-month period set for the general public hearing began on the same day. But so far nothing has been done. “I have to ask this question on Monday and I know everything” – Manjgaladze tells us.

“Georgian Dream” does not rule out that due to the change of circumstances, the issue of amendments to the Constitution may be reconsidered. “We have to take into account the opinion of other political entities, the opinion of the society and then we have to say what we are going to do … Circumstances have changed and it has appeared that we are not moving towards consensus, but towards a higher degree of confrontation.” – Said the vice-speaker of “Georgian Dream”, Gia Volski.

“Strategy Builder” demands that personal sanctions be imposed on the leaders of the “Georgian Dream” – Irakli Kobakhidze, Irakli Gharibashvili and Kakha Kaladze – for leaving the “Charles Michel Agreement”, if the ruling team does not reverse the decision made on July 28. Other opposition parties are also talking about the use of sanctions and other mechanisms.

“Georgian Dream” blames everything on the “National Movement” again, because the largest opposition party did not sign the “Charles Michel Agreement” signed on April 19 from the very beginning.

Due to the coercion of the Georgian Dream and the protection of the “Western course of the country”, the “Charles Michel Agreement” is not ruled out to be signed by the bloc of the “United National Movement”.

As Radio Liberty was told in the party, the issue is being discussed in parallel with communication with international partners and a relevant decision will be made soon.

Constitutionalist Vakhtang Dzabiradze does not rule out that if the document is signed by the United National Movement and under pressure from international partners, the Georgian Dream will return the document and even say that its decision was aimed at forcing the United National Movement.

Experts see that at this stage the international community is refraining from taking radical steps and trying to convince the Georgian Dream. But the Georgian Dream itself rules out a return to the “Charles Michel Document”. “We are not children, we are serious people” – Irakli Kobakhidze, the chairman of the party, said on July 30.

After the withdrawal of the “Dream” from the agreement, the mandates of the MP were left by the chairman of the National Movement, Nika Melia, as well as the chairman of the party – “Girchi – More Freedom”. Independent MP Tamar Kordzaia went into boycott mode. All other MPs remain in Parliament.

  • Prior to the “Michel Document”, there were a total of 99 deputies in the Parliament of Georgia of the 10th convocation: 84 – Dream, 6 – Giorgi Gakharia’s team, 2 – “Citizens”, 4 – “European Socialists” and 3 – “Girchi”.
  • After the signing of the agreement, gradually everyone entered the parliament – except for one MP from “European Georgia” and one MP from the “Labor Party”.
  • Of the reforms required by the Charles Michel Agreement, only the Electoral Code was updated. Experts point to some progress, however, in their estimation, the code is still far from ideal.
  • In accordance with the requirements of the “Michel Document”, “persons considered political prisoners” – Giorgi Rurua and Nika Melia – were released.
  • No agreement was reached on the controversial amnesty bill related to the events of June 20 – finally “Otsneba” approved its draft in two readings and did not pass it in the third reading.
  • Work has not even begun on “ambitious judicial reform”, which was the main content of the “Michelle Document”.

Experts predict that the political situation will return to the status quo before April 19 after the elections, if the “Dream” will not be able to overcome the 43% threshold set by the “Charles Michel Agreement”. According to the document, in such a case, early parliamentary elections should be called in 2022.

Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections.

According to the parliamentary faction “Try – Partnership for Georgia”, the 43% threshold remains in force for them, and if the “Dream” does not exceed this threshold and does not call early elections, the members of the faction will leave the parliament; Most likely, other parties will do the same and early elections will be called anyway.

“With such a clear and unanimous domestic and international pressure, the one-party parliament with the problem of political-legal legitimacy will inevitably disintegrate and early elections will be called. This should be an effective response of the opposition to the insidious plan of the dream.” – says “Lelo – Partnership for Georgia”.

Paata Manjgaladze, a member of parliament representing Strategy Builder, told RFE / RL that the 43% threshold remains relevant for them, and if the ruling party fails to cross the threshold, its legitimacy will be resolved.

Addressing the step taken by the Georgian Dream A statement from the US Embassy Word used – “Angry” An indicator of the exhaustion of resource patience for former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

His post on Twitter says that such a word has never been encountered in embassy statements and it should not be left unattended.

“The US is running out of patience, just like any other country that still cares about Georgia. This is serious. Awake! ” – Ilves writes.

However, the fact is that so far the Georgian Dream has not taken anything seriously and still thinks that its international partners will understand everything well.

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