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Georgia needs new constitution

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 12
The ruling Georgian Dream coalition members say that Georgia needs a new constitution. To amend the Constitution will take a considerable amount of time and effort.

Incoming Parliamentary Chairman David Usupashvili stated that the existing constitution is inadequate and makes it difficult to administer the country properly. According to the Parliamentary Chairman-elect the Constitution establishes order and the rule of law but it is tailored to the likes and dislikes of one person and one party. It does not consider the needs of the population only "the privileged segment of the country", Usupashvili said. According to Usupashvili the Constitution should assist the people and the country in a crisis situation, whereas the current constitution itself is a source of crisis. Since the Georgian people expressed their wish and support for new leadership, the new government should do everything in its power to create a constitution which will serve the country’s interest. Unfortunately the current constitution has been written in such a way that even with a majority in Parliament Georgian Dream (GD) cannot enact laws like one might expect. President Saakashvili still possesses many levers to interfere in the affairs of Parliament, government and other structures. People supporting Ivanishvili’s coalition think Saakashvili should be deprived of the power to interfere in the management of the country. Constitutionalist and incoming Parliamentary Chairman of Legal Issues Vakhtang Khmaladze acknowledged the urgent need to change the Constitution. Khmaladze urges that a classic parliamentary republic should be created where Parliament has the right to control executive power. Khmaladze thinks that work in this direction should start immediately and that the President should be stripped of many powers and rights.

The first constitutional change presumably will be the return of Parliament's seat from Kutaisi to Tbilisi. Though Georgian Dream does not have the minimum 2/3 majority in Parliament to change the Constitution on its own, GD members are convinced they can convince enough minority party MP's of the problems, threats and financial dangers of retaining Parliament in Kutaisi. Of special concern are the 700 parliamentary employees, many of whom have irreplaceable experience; many of them refused to relocate to Kutaisi when Parliament moved there this year. The incoming government has agreed that changing the Constitution needs considerable time, patience and expertise.