Thousands protest election reform failure in Georgia

Thousands protest election reform failure in Georgia
Demonstrators gather at the Georgian parliament building to protest against government failures to pass election-reform constitutional measures, in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Some hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the parliament building to protest after the government backed down on a promise to reform the election system that supports the ruling party. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Thousands of protesters are demonstrating outside the parliament in Georgia, demanding snap elections for the Caucasus country’s legislature after lawmakers failed to pass a promised electoral-reform measure.

The Georgian Dream party, which dominates the country’s politics and holds a strong majority in the parliament, had promised a constitutional amendment under which all seats filled in the 2020 parliamentary election would be allotted by the percentage of votes received by a party nationwide.

The promise was key to cooling down tensions after days of sometimes-violent demonstrations in Tbilisi in the summer. But many Georgian Dream legislators voted against the measure on Thursday and it failed.

Demonstrators on Sunday said they would continue the protests and continue to block the capital’s main avenue.