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Prospects of constitutional reform

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 11
Just a few weeks before the presidential election, Parliament created a constitutional commission headed by the Parliamentary Chairperson Davit Usupashvili. The commission has the power to introduce fundamental changes to the constitution and will submit its proposals in September 2014.

Creating new amendments to the constitution will be difficult, especially after the presidential election is over. The day after the presidential election, a constitutional majority will be required for introducing any amendments to the constitution.

A constitutional majority is defined as a 3/4 majority in Parliament. With the current political configuration in Parliament, achieving a constitutional majority will be difficult.

The constitutional model adopted by the country’s previous leadership in 2010 was designed to keep the United National Movement (UNM) in power. The current Georgian Dream government wants to make changes to the constitution to make it more democratic.

For instance, Georgian Dream wants to make changes to the status of municipal governments. However, elections for said bodies are not scheduled until next spring. The needed constitutional changes will not be ready by then and therefore the municipal elections will be held according to the old constitutional model. So, for the next four years the country will be governed by inadequate structural bodies.

Some analysts have suggested that the current friction in Parliament could lead to deadlock. Therefore snap parliamentary elections are needed. Presumably after snap parliamentary elections the UNM will lose more seats and Georgian Dream will be able to form a parliamentary majority to enact the needed constitutional changes.