Saakashvili hails Venice Commission's assistance
By Salome Modebadze
Monday, June 7President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili attended the conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s advisory body for legal and constitutional issues, with other European leaders on June 5.
Saakashvili reminded the European political elite about all the violations Russia has been committing on the Georgian occupied territories. “The Georgian people have firmly decided to build a democratic state, based on democracy, human rights and the supremacy of law. I must highlight that the Venice Commission was the first European structure to encourage Georgia in this direction, so the Council of Europe has an important meaning for our country,” the President said in his address, stressing how active the cooperation between Georgia and the Commission has been since the Rose Revolutuion of 2003.
“20% of our country is occupied by the army of our emeny. Even the articles of the ceasefire agreement are being violated by the occupying country. There is artillery 25 kilometres from the capital, but we [Georgians] continue building the democracy the Georgian people and the Government of Georgia are trying hard to promote,” the President added.
Saakashvili also spoke about the economic progress of the country, saying that according to the World Bank Georgia is in 1st place in ease of creating a business and fighting corruption. “We hope that we will create not only the most modern country in the Caucasus but the best Constitutional system ever. Democracy is the best path to security and development. We have a lack of oil and gas, but we have different resources to develop our society with,” stated the President.
Saakashvili highlighted “the impressive memories” of cooperation with Gianni Buquicchio, Head of the Venice Commission Delegation, who remembered all the details of meetings with his Georgian colleagues. Davit Bakradze, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia who accompanied Saakashvili to the conference, said the Venice Commission had appreciated the draft of the State Constitution [with the changes made by Avtandil Demetrashvili and Tengiz Sharmanashvili, Chairs of the Constitutional Commission]. “All the changes made in the Election Code of Georgia which the working groups recommended to the Parliament of Georgia were also discussed [at the conference] and received a positive estimation,” Bakradze said, stressing that the Venice Commission has a positive view of the Georgian Election Code, which it says has been significantly improved.
Political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili shared his concern about the attitude of the Venice Commission towards Georgia with The Messenger. “The Venice Commission always addresses reality, unlike the Government of Georgia which has a wonderful gift for only taking into account what suits the reality it wishes to present. Gianni Buquicchio left Tbilisi without making a positive comment on either the law on protests or the draft changes to the Constitution. The Commission actually approved the contrary draft prepared by famous public figures [experts, lawyers] which the Government of Georgia didn’t take into account at all for particular reasons,” Tsiskarishvili explained. He stressed that the Venice Commission is always particular in its decisions and has a consistent approach to legislation, whereas the Government of Georgia generally makes decisions on the basis of who dreamed up the idea.