Parliamentary elections to be held in Georgia

Georgians will today vote in parliamentary elections to determine the composition of the 150-member legislature. The elections will be the

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Photo: Eurasianet

Georgians will today vote in parliamentary elections to determine the composition of the 150-member legislature. The elections will be the first held since electoral laws were reformed in June. Under the new laws, 120 MPs are to be elected through proportional representation while the remaining 30 will be elected from single-representative constituencies.

The centrist, pro-European Georgian Dream Party (GDP) under Bidzina Ivanishvili is squaring off against the centre-right, pro-European United National Movement (UNM) under Grigol Vashadze, in addition to smaller parties. Current polling shows the GDP approval rating at 55%, a comfortable lead over the UNM who trail behind at 22%.

While the GDP’s campaign has centred around its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNM has promised to strengthen ties with the EU and NATO, positions that have been popular with Georgians since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Ivanishvili has been accused of covertly coordinating with Moscow in order to shift alignment from the EU and NATO, a move decried by the opposition. If elected, expect him to continue pursuing closer ties with Russia, which may spark protests mirroring those of 2019.