AKIPRESS.COM - About 20,000 people rallied in the center of the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Sunday to protest against the government and to demand an early parliamentary election, Reuters reports.
The protest took place days after the parliament failed to pass a planned electoral reform, a move to full proportional representation from the present mixed system.
Currently almost a half of lawmakers in parliament are elected not by party lists but in single-mandate constituencies.
Constitutional amendments on electoral changes fell short by 12 votes to be passed as some lawmakers from the ruling Georgian Dream Party, who feared proportional voting would cost them their seats, opposed the changes.
The switch was scheduled to happen in 2024, but the opposition demanded it be brought forward for the election due in October next year, saying the system unfairly favors Georgian Dream, which has ruled since 2012.
Activists also put locks on parliament’s gates in a symbolic gesture and pitched tents around the building.
Opposition leaders said they suspected the failure of the electoral reform was orchestrated by Ivanishvili, although he denied manipulating the process.