GEORGIA
Parliamentary Chamber: Sakartvelos Parlamenti

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1999

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Chamber:
  Sakartvelos Parlamenti


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  31 October 1999
14 November 1999


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  President Eduard Shevardnadze announced by public decree on 4 August 1999 that the elections to the Parliament would take place on 31 October 1999.

The electoral law was amended prior to the elections, reducing the number of the members of the election commission and increasing, in the proportional representation system, the threshold of the popular vote from 5% to 7%.

Some 33 parties and blocs registered for a total of 225 seats, 150 of which were contested on the basis of party lists and 75 in single-member constituencies. According to the electoral law, 85 seats are elected in single-member constituencies but this time the 10 seats of the breakaway province of Abkhazia were not being contested.

The campaign was marked by economic problems and by the discord between the Citizens' Union, the governing centrist party led by President Eduard Shevardnadze, and Revival, the main opposition bloc. Revival attracted several small parties, from radical nationalists to leftists opposed to Mr. Sheverdnadze's pro-Western policies which include seeking membership in the NATO military alliance.

Over 67% of the nearly three million registered voters turned out for the ballot that was considered as a referendum on the seven-year rule of Mr. Shevardnadze.

The 150 international observers deployed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the election, recorded some irregularities. Runoff elections took place on 14 November 1999 in 24 constituencies where no candidate had obtained the required majority. Voting was also repeated in a few districts where the first round had been annulled due to violence.

Among the 33 parties contesting the elections, only three obtained representation in the new Parliament. The Citizens' Union secured the most seats, followed by the Revival bloc. The leftist bloc "Industry will save Georgia" passed, with a slim margin, the 7% required by the new electoral law and thus obtained representation.

The first session of the newly elected Parliament took place on 20 November 1999. Mr. Zurab Zhvania, a member of the Citizens' Union was elected as its Speaker.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (31 October 1999): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2 882 646
Voters 1 948 659 (68 %)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Citizens' Union 41.85
All-Georgian Union of Revival 25.65
Industry Will Save Georgia 7.80
Independents and others n.a.

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Proportional Majority
Citizens' Union 121 85 36
All-Georgian Union of Revival 58 51 7
Industry Will Save Georgia 14 14 0
Independents and others 30 0 30

Comments:
  + 12 Abkhazian delegates
Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 218
Women: 17
Percent of women: 7.23


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Copyright 1999 Inter-Parliamentary Union