Home > Voting procedures > GEORGIA - Opinion on the Unified Election Code
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Paragraph 22

According to Articles 49 and 4 of the Georgian Constitution, the Parliament of Georgia consists of 235 members, of which 150 members are elected by a proportional system on a nationwide basis and 85 members are elected by a plurality system.  According to Article 15.1 of the Code, these 85 are to be elected in 85 single-member constituencies or election districts, 10 of which are in the city of Tbilisi and 75 of which are established in accordance with the administrative-territorial division of the country. Regarding the delimitation of electoral districts, it is quite astonishing that Article 15 does not include any remark on the legally allowed deviation from the average ratio of registered voters per single-member constituency. This lack is not only unusual by international standards of electoral legislation. What is more, the violation of electoral equality in this sense was one of the main problems in the 1999 parliamentary elections: the average ratio of registered voters per single-member constituency varied a lot, from approx. 3,600 voters in the Lent’ekhi district or approx. 4,200 in the Kazbegi district to over 138,000 in Kutaisi City[4]. Therefore, the OSCE suggested a maximum deviation of 10% from the average ratio of voters/inhabitants or adult citizens per district (internationally such a standard is quite common)[5]. Such provision should be added to Article 15; moreover, the number of seats of the city of Tbilisi should depend on its population/number of voters or adult citizens and not be determined in the law. Since for organisational reasons it is quite sensible to retain the administrative division as a general basis for defining electoral districts, the maximum margin might be increased to 15%–20% for less accessible regions. Any bigger deviation from the average size is not acceptable from a democratic point of view, except when a very under-populated administrative district has to be represented in Parliament. Such an exception would be admissible since more than 60 % of the parliamentarians are elected on a nation-wide basis.