Georgia is a democratic semi-presidential republic, with the President as the head of state, and Prime Minister as the head of government. The executive branch of power is made up of the President and the Cabinet of Georgia. The Cabinet is composed of ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, and appointed by the President. Notably, the ministers of defense and interior are not members of the Cabinet and are subordinated directly to the President of Georgia. Mikheil Saakashvili is the current President of Georgia after winning 53.47% of the vote in the 2008 election. Since February 6, 2009 Nikoloz Gilauri has been the prime minister of Georgia.
Legislative authority is vested in the Parliament of Georgia. It is unicameral and has 150 members, known as deputies, from which 75 members are proportional representatives and 75 are elected through single-member district plurality system, representing their constituencies. Members of parliament are elected for four-year terms. Five parties and electoral blocs had representatives elected to the parliament in the 2008 elections: theUnited National Movement (governing party), The Joint Opposition, the Christian-Democrats, the Labour Party and Republican Party.On 26 May 2012, Saakashvili inaugurated a new Parliament building in the western city of Kutaisi, in an effort to decentralise power and shift some political control closer to Abkhazia.
Although considerable progress was made since the Rose revolution, Saakashvili states that Georgia is still not a "full-fledged, very well-formed, crystalized society. The political system remains in the process of transition, with frequent adjustments to the balance of power between the President and Parliament, and opposition proposals ranging from transforming the country into parliamentary republic to re-establishing themonarchy. Observers note the deficit of trust in relations between the Government and the opposition.
Different opinions exist regarding the degree of political freedom in Georgia. President Saakashvili believes that the country is "on the road to becoming a European democracy. Freedom House lists Georgia as a partly free country.
In preparation for 2012 parliamentary elections, Parliament adopted a new electoral code on December 27, 2011 that incorporated many recommendations from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Venice Commission. However, the new code failed to address the Venice Commission’s primary recommendation to strengthen the equality of the vote by reconstituting single-mandate election districts to be comparable in size. On December 28, Parliament amended the Law on Political Unions to regulate campaign and political party financing. Local and international observers raised concerns about several amendments, including the vagueness of the criteria for determining political bribery and which individuals and organizations would be subject to the law. As of March 2012, Parliament was discussing further amendments to address these concerns.
The elections in October 2012 resulted in the clear victory for the opposition, which President Saakashvili conceded on the following day