Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze wrote on his official Facebook page regarding recommendations from the Venice Commission on changes to Georgia’s electoral system. "Georgia will fully consider the Venice Commission's recommendation on the electoral system and will present Article 37 with a new formulation in the Constitution," Kobakhidze wrote.
The Venice Commission’s recommendations are not yet published. Last week, Tabula received information from its source that outlined Venice Comission's criticism of Georgia’s proposed electoral system changes, and offered its own recommendations for improving the proposed changes.
Kobakhidze noted that the main recommendation of the European experts was about the undistributed mandates.
The Venice Commission recommends to take into consideration the following options for allocating undistributed mandates:
– proportional allocation either to all political parties passing the 5% threshold; or
– setting up of a ceiling to the number of wasted votes that is to be allocated to the winning party (premium);
– and/or reduction of the threshold to 2% or 3%, thus applying the proportional system also to the distribution of leftover mandates.
Kobakhidze said that the Georgian representatives of the Venice Commission determined three levels or limits how mandates are allocated:
“Upper limit: A party cannot receive more than 89 unallocated mandates; lower limit: If the winning party receives 75 mandates or less, then they lose the right to bonus mandates, and the remaining unallocated mandates will be distributed proportionately to all parties.
Similarly, there is a relative limit regarding the number of bonus mandates the winning party can receive. The winning party can only win an amount of bonus seats that does not exceed 35 percent of the party’s earned mandates (for example, if a party receives 40 percent of the vote, it cannot receive more than 54 percent of the total mandates). Based on this model, the winning party can only take advantage of this rule if it receives between 38 and 44% of the vote,” Kobakhidze said.
The Government of Georgia’s proposal prior to the Venice Commission’s recommendations were that the winning party would receive all remaining undistributed mandates.