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Foreign orientation and the state constitution

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, March 19
Georgian Parliament has begun discussing the proposed constitutional amendments restricting the President’s right to dismiss the government and parliament unilaterally without parliamentary consent. The oppositional United National movement (UNM) wants to bargain over the issue demanding that Georgia’s foreign policy in placed in the state constitution.

Before the parliamentary elections and especially after the victory of the Georgian Dream in the October 1 elections, the UNM has been active in trying to discredit the Georgian Dream with allegations that it is pro-Russian and that it will lead the country away from European institutions.

On January 30, 2013, UNM representatives in the parliament submitted a draft project for the amendments regarding Georgia’s foreign relations. The draft consists of three components: the first is the government’s obligation to lead the country to NATO and EU; the second is to not recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent entities; and the third – forbids Georgia from entering any organization established through Russia’s leadership.

According to UNM members, if these changes are added to the constitution, certain guarantees will be created that the country’s foreign policy will not change.

As a response to such a suggestion, the Georgian Dream coalition initiated and later adopted a 19 point inter-faction agreement which determines the major directions of the country’s foreign policy.

However, the UNM is not satisfied and the party members believe that this issue should be fixed to the constitution.

Opinions over these amendments differ. Carnegie Center expert Thomas de Waal thinks that the state constitution should not be a document that determines the country’s foreign policy and the resolution adopted by the Georgian Parliament is quite enough. Many Georgian analysts feel the same. It should be mentioned that whether it is written in the constitution or not, the discussions over Georgia’s foreign orientation will still continue.