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Proposed constitutional changes attract criticism from opposition

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, September 16
The constitution changes are tailored to fit President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili- leader of the oppositional our Georgia-Free Democrats, Irakli Alasania stated on September 15, before the meeting with Public Constitution Commission.

“The main aim of the meeting is to exchange opinions concerning the new constitution of Georgia. We agree on the main issue, that the suggested constitutional changes are designed specifically for one person and his interests and this person is the current President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. All logic of these changes confirms what I am saying. Any kind of change which serves the interests of one man is categorically unaccepted by my political team,” Alasania stated, before adding that the most adequate system is a balanced Presidential Republic, with balanced relations, high Parliamentary control and an impartial court.

No concrete results were yielded from the public discussion of the new constitution, according to member of the Public Constitution Commission and the head of Non Government Organization-Human Rights Priority Lia Mukhashavria, who stated, “No changes have been brought to the new constitution project. The main aims of the discussions were to make sure that public opinion was reflected on the process. After the meeting with the opposition, Parliament Speaker, Davit Bakradze stated that organic law would be preserved by the new constitution and some other oppositional demands would be taken into consideration, However, I can not see this happening. In reality, this model does not create a balanced system. We can not say that the model is either European or democratic, “Lia Mukhashavria stated.

MP for the majority, Nugzar Tsiklauri, rejected the opposition's criticism and stated that demands and remarks will be very soon reflected on the project, “The process has not been completed yet. I can say that that we have been to almost all parts of Georgia and introduced the new constitution project to all persons interested in the issue. Herewith, we have received a lot of remarks which will be reflected in the draft shortly, as soon as the first and the second hearings will be held in Parliament. Changes will be introduced concerning organic law, inheritance issues and some other significant cases for which we have recommendations,“ Tsiklauri stated to the Messenger.

Opposition allegations and complaints at the present moment are illogical, analyst Soso Tsintsadze told the Messenger, “I chaired the working group where all the issues and remarks concerning the constitution were discussed. There were opposition representatives within the group. We have held 52 sittings and none of the opposition members attended any of them. I can say that we discussed all the remarks, even the remarks received from different villages. Now, when they come and comment on their remarks it is illogical, as they had an opportunity earlier. Herewith, when the one chosen constitution project is being discussed, in general all forces in the country participate in the process to refine it and do not create some other projects at the same time", Tsintsadze stated and added, “ I have the impression that the opposition can not understand what the word 'balanced' means. There is no perfect constitution. When it is mentioned that the constitution will be balanced, it means that it will be more or less balanced but not absolutely. There are several members in opposition who are making some comments concerning the project who have not read it at all; I have recently experienced this. Opposition had a year to gain the trust of the society; however they could not manage this. One thing I can say is that this constitution project is optimal version of those which have been presented, “Tsintsadze stated.