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National Movement wins Georgian elections
March 31, 2004
Civil Georgia News

Posted by HW on July 23, 2021

National Movement
Results of the March 28 parliamentary elections suggest that President Saakashvili's National Movement-Democrats party would be just short of two-thirds of seats in the new legislative body. Only around 30 mandates will go to the opposition.

Only one other
With 1,518,000 votes counted out of approximately 1,532,521 vites cast, the ruling National Movement-Democrats party garnered 67,02% and the moderate the Rightist Opposition coalition - a coalition of the New Rights and the Industrialists - 7,62% of the votes. None of the other parties cleared 7% threshold necessary to secure seats in the Parliament.

135 Seats
If these figures will receive the final approval by the Central Election Commission (CEC)President Saakashvili's party would get 135 MP seats, and the Rightist Opposition - 15 seats, among those 150 MPs that are elected by party lists.

74 remain seated
March 28 elections did not affect 74 MPs elected in the single-mandate constituencies in November 2 elections, who keep their seats. Run-off elections are scheduled in one - Tchiatura single-mandate district. Remaining ten seats are occupied by the representatives of the Tbilisi-based Abkhazia government-in-exile.

Abashidze: 6 seats
17 MPs out of 74 elected in the single-mandate constituencies ('majoritarian' MPs) are the members of the ruling party; the Rightist Opposition has 8 MPs (4 from the New Rights; 4 from Industrialists); the opposition Labor Party - 4 and Adjarian leader Aslan Abashidze-backed Revival Union - 6.
19 of these 'majoritarian' deputies were endorsed by then-ruling ex-President Shevardnadze's party. It is expected that most of them would be loyal to the new authorities. 20 'majoritarian' MPs were non-partisan, independent candidates.

Not enough for constitutional changes
Hence the ruling party will have 152 seats in the parliament - five votes short of 157 required for passing the constitutional changes. The biggest opposition faction - the Rightist Opposition will count on 23 votes.

Not final
However, these figures might change. CEC Chairman Zurab Tchiaberashvili said at a news briefing on March 31 that the elections can be cancelled on several precincts of Adjara and Kvemo Kartli. Cancellation of Kvemo Kartli precincts would hit hard the Rightist Opposition.

Already appointed
On the other hand, a part of the majoritiarian MPs, elected in the single-mandate constituencies have already been appointed to executive government and will have to give up their MP credentials. Among them are the Prosecutor General Irakli Okruashvili, Interior Minister Giorgi Baramidze, Healthcare Minister Gigi Tsereteli, President's Representative in the Imereti region Davit Mumladze, Adjarian Interior Minister Jemal Gogitidze. If they are to retain their executive positions, the repeat elections should be held in the corresponding constituencies.

No single-party parliament
President Saakashvili said on March 24, that he would not like to see "confrontational opposition" in the legislative body. After the elections he said that speculations over the threat of single-party parliament are "groundless."

"Do not forget that 75 MPs have already been elected in the single-mandate constituencies. According to my calculations at least 40-45 of them represent the opposition parties, or the political forces, which backed ex-President Shevardnadze," President Saakashvili said.
However, as the political analysts say President Saakashvili exaggerates the opposition stance of the single-mandate MPs, counting former supporters of Shevardnadze and independents as opposition. Traditionally in Georigan politics, majoritarian MPs preferred to cooperate with the government.

Saakashvili is correct in reminding that "the ruling party itself represents a coalition of several parties and we have witnessed for several times already that there are disagreements between them".
The National Movement-Democrats is a bloc of two coalitions - Saakashvili's National Movement and Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania's United Democrats. These two coalitions include the Republican Party, supporters of Georgia's late President Zviad Gamsakhurdia and supporters of Chairperson of the outgoing Parliament Nino Burjanadze. Some political analysts already speculate that the ruling coalition might split in the Parliament, but not in the near future.
Burjanadze, Nino (F) Politician Georgia
Saakashvili, Misha (M) Politician Georgia
Zhvania, Zurab (M) Politician Georgia
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