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Amendments to the Constitution

By Tina Tskhovrebadze
Wednesday, August 23
Georgian Opposition Parties answer the Georgian Ruling Party

Representatives of the parliamentarian majority asked the opposition parties to write down and send their list of main priorities to the ruling party over the constitutional amendments.

Georgian opposition and ruling parties still tend to search for a consensus regarding the amendments in the Constitution of Georgia. After the first meeting of Georgian political parties on August 18, representatives of the parliamentarian majority asked opposition parties to write down and send their main priorities list to the ruling party regarding the amendments in the main document of the country.

The opposition parties have divided into two parts. Both of the groups contain 11 parties.

The first of the oppositional groups have three main principle issues:

1. To hold the proportional elections in 2020.

2. To use the principle of the fair distribution of mandates.

3. And to elect the president of the country by the direct elections.

If the “Georgian Dream” accepts all these points the opposition will start a dialog with the ruling party regarding the other amendments that need to be adopted. Georgian opposition mentions that ruling party “tries to overcome these priorities and to lead the communication with opposition parties according to the desirable format for you (GD) to imitate a gain of consensus with them, or to create a fake picture as if oppositional forces reject a dialog format for gaining the consensus regarding the constitutional reforms, in such a way you will try to adopt the constitution only in accordance of your positions.”

In the same letter the representatives of the opposition address the ruling party to take more responsibility on the process and to keep in mind that if the minimal standard for the constitutional amendments is not accepted and constitution is adopted according to the will of the “Georgian Dream” then ruling party will carry the responsibility on the negative results. (The letter is signed by the parties: “New Georgia”, “European Georgia – Movement for freedom”, “United National Movement”, :National-Democratic Party”, “Free Democrats”, “State for People Movement”, “Republic Party”, “Civic Alliance for Freedom”, “Democratic Party of Georgia”, “Christian-Democrats of Georgia’, “Christian-Conservative Party of Georgia”).

The Second part of the opposition belongs to the interparty non-parliamentarian opposition party group and has four main issues:

1. Abolishment of the majority electoral system, members of the parliament shall be elected by proportional system. Mandates shall be distributed according to D’Hondt formula (Article 49, Constitution of Georgia).

2. The threshold shall be decreased from 5% to 3% in the elections (Article 50, Constitution of Georgia).

3. To keep an opportunity for creating the electoral blocks (Article 50, Constitution of Georgia).

4. To keep direct electoral rule for electing the president of the country (Article 70, Constitution of Georgia).

“We mention that the parties that have signed the letter do not have any legal opportunity to support the project of the constitutional amendments or vote against it in the Parliament of Georgia. At the same time we will use the possibility to express our political support or opposite position in accordance whether ruling party accepts our suggestions or not.” – says the letter (signed by “New Right Party”, “New Christian-Democrats”, “United Democratic Movement”, “Democratic Movement – United Georgia”, “European Democrats”, “National Forum”, “Free Georgia”, “Freedom”, “Georgian Labour Party”, “Traditionalists Union”, “Political Movement of Veterans and Patriots”).

As for the president of the country Giorgi Margvelashvili he stated that few months ago “we had a project with zero consensus and it was supported only by the ruling party. Despite of that fact the Parliament of Georgia has applied for the project and took the political process into the deadlock. But today, there has appeared an opinion that constitution shall be adopted on the consensus and I great the ongoing consultations. Although we shall keep it in mind that we will not get an acting constitution if the vision will not be changed and stays the same – we have voting machines and we are the smartest” – said Margvelashvili on a special briefing on August, 22.

The consultations are main basements for the meeting in Strasbourg on August 6 organized by the Venice Commission regarding the amendments in the Constitution of Georgia. Finding the common point of views and dialog among all actors of the process has a high importance for the democratic development of Georgia.