Tbilisi, June 24: Georgia's ruling party leader on Monday announced sweeping electoral reform, in line with the demands of anti-government protests that have gripped Tbilisi since last week.
"Georgian Dream proposes a large-scale political reform," Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the ruling Georgian Dream, told a news conference.
"We propose that parliamentary polls in 2020 be held under proportional system," and there will be no threshold for parties to enter parliament, the powerful oligarch added. Evan Rachel Wood Calls For 'Mandatory Vasectomies' as Georgia Passes The Anti-Abortion Law.
Thousands of anti-government protesters have been rallying since Thursday in the Georgian capital, demanding reforms to the country's electoral system. Opposition groups say the existing electoral law favours the ruling party.
Protests erupted after a Russian lawmaker addressed Georgia's parliament from the speaker's seat, a controversial move in a country that fought a war with Russia in 2008 and whose ties with Moscow remain fraught.
The rallies have quickly morphed into a broader movement against Georgia’s richest man Ivanishvili, who is widely believed to be calling the shots in Georgia as a leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party he founded.
Ahead of planned parliamentary polls next year, the opposition has demanded electoral reform followed by snap elections, hoping to capitalise on discontent with the ruling party over its failure to kickstart a stagnant economy. Opposition parties have also accused Ivanishvili of an "informal oligarch rule," eroding state institutions, and electoral fraud.