TBILISI, DFWatch — Six parliamentarians who left the former governing party of President Mikheil Saakashvili are officially recognized as a faction of independents.
The National Movement Party’s vote weight in the assembly thus fell from 65 to 59. But the ruling Georgian Dream coalition still doesn’t command a constitutional majority.
The six MPs have formed a faction called ‘Non-partisan Independent Majoritarians.’
Gogi Liparteliani, MP for Lentekhi district, Georgia’s mountainous region in the west, will chair the faction. The rest are MPs Goderdzi Bukia, Enzel Makoiani, Kakha Okriashvili, Sergo Khabuliani and Giorgi Gozalisvhili.
The latter joined a few days ago, after which the independents reached the threshold of six MPs and were entitled to form their own faction.
Parliament’s regulations allow a faction additional time during review of draft laws and during political debates.
There are 150 MPs in the Georgian parliament. 100 MPs are needed for a constitutional majority. The party of President Saakashvili got 65 seats in the election, while Prime Minister Ivanishvili’s coalition got 85. If the new faction supports them, the majority will still need the votes of a few minority MPs to adopt constitutional amendments.
In addition, there are 12 empty seats among the ranks of Georgian Dream, as those twelve were appointed to government positions. Only three are majoritarians out of these 12. This means that there must be held by-election for three seats in October 2013. These three seats will be vacant for a year. The remaining nine seats will be filled up from Georgian Dream’s party list.
The majority needs 12 more votes in parliament in order to pass constitutional changes. They want to amend the law by which the elections for missed MPs should be conducted twice a year instead of once – spring and fall.
“Why should three seats be vacant for one year? In case of amendments, the election will be conducted in spring at three majoritarian districts,” Vakhtang Khmaladze, chair of Parliament’s Judiciary Committee told DF Watch.
The nine new Georgian Dream MPs from the party list will be present at the next session.