At stake in this election:
- The office of President of Georgia
Description of government structure:
- Head of State and Commander in Chief: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Bidzina IVANISHVILI
- Assembly: Georgia has a unicameral parliament (Sakartvelos Parlamenti) with 150 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by absolute majority to serve a 5-year term. If the leading contestant does not secure 50 percent of the votes, a run-off will be held between the top two contenders.
- Prime Minister is appointed by the president.*
- In the Parliament (Sakartvelos Parlamenti), 77 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation (PR) system to serve 4-year terms and 73 members are elected by majority vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms.**
*The parliament presents its candidate to the president who in turn presents that candidate back to parliament. The parliament then confirms the candidate through a vote of confidence and the president finalizes the appointment.
**If no candidate secures 30 percent or more of the valid vote in a single-member constituency, a run-off election is held between the two leading candidates. The threshold is 5 percent in the PR tier. If no party, bloc, or pre-election coalition achieves 5 percent of votes, new elections are held. Voting is not compulsory.
Main Candidates in the Presidential race*:
- Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI
Party: Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia / ქართული ოცნება – დემოკრატიული საქართველო
- David BAKRADZE
Party: United National Movement / ერთიანი ნაციონალური მოძრაობა
- Giorgi TARGAMADZE
Party: Christian-Democratic Movement / ქრისტიანულ-დემოკრატიული მოძრაობა
- Shalva NATELASHVILI
Party: Georgian Labour Party / საქართველოს ლეიბორისტული პარტია
- Nino BURJANADZE
Party: Democratic Movement – United Georgia / დემოკრატიული მოძრაობა — ერთიანი საქართველო
*Main Candidates determined by polling data
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 4,555,911 (July 2013 est.)
- Registered Voters: 3,537,719 (October 2013)
- Constitutional amendments are scheduled to come into force that will shift power from the presidency to the prime minister and parliament following October’s presidential election.*
- Candidates reaching the 5 percent threshold during the election will receive reimbursement from the state of up to GEL 1 million (approximately USD $600,000) for campaign expenditures.
*More information on the constitutional changes can be found here