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The News in Brief

Monday, March 26
Prepared by Mariam Chanishvili

Parliament Ratifies Final Version of the Georgian Construction

The Georgian Parliament has ratified the final version of the Georgian constitution last week, which means that Georgia will move to the fully proportional elections from 2024, the country will have a president not-elected by people and other key changes.

The Georgian Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani has congratulated the country on the “significant day”, stating that Georgia has officially moved to the fully parliamentary governance.

“Thanks to the amendments the constitution ensures equal rights between men and women, higher protection of children’s rights, and the rights of the people with different disabilities, as well as various crucial changes, “the minister stated.

The Georgian parliament adopted the constitutional amendments, initiated by the Georgian Dream leadership, at the end of September 2017.

The key amendments include:

- Georgia will switch to fully proportional elections in 2024;
- The 2020 parliamentary elections will still be held through the existing mixed proportional and majoritarian system but the election threshold will be lowered to 3 percent from 5 percent for these elections only;
- President will be elected by a special council starting 2024;
- In 2018 the president will still be elected directly but for a six and not a five year term.
- Selling agricultural lands to foreign nationals will be prohibited.
- The opposition will have a right to create investigative commissions and others.

The opposition has demanded the move to the fully proportional elections beginning 2020 and the direct election of a president, which has not been taken into account.

Police Launches Investigation against Former Head of NGO

The Georgian Interior Ministry has launched an investigation against the former head of the Georgian Non-Governmental Organization CiDA, Zviad Devdariani, after several women accused him of sexual harassment.

The Ministry has launched an investigation for sexual suppression and illegal surveillance on a person.

The harassment allegations against Devdariani were initially voiced by the Georgian Women’s Movement, on March 17, a day after Devdariani was nominated by the Georgian Public Defender for the board member of Georgia’s Public Broadcaster.

The statement released by the NGO claimed that about 10 women, who stayed anonymous, accused Devdariani of sexual harassment, unwanted physical and verbal behavior.

Devdariani dismissed the accusations. However, he quit the post as CiDA head and the organization board accepted the decision.