The messenger logo

USA, Venice commission and hasty adoption of constitution

By Messenger Staff
Monday, October 11
During the recent visit of the Georgian Prime Minister, Nika Gilauri to the USA, the Americans once again confirmed their support of the democratic development of Georgia and its territorial integrity. Obviously the US declaration demanding the de-occupation of Georgia will not yield any visible result in the near future, as Russia’s imperialistic ambitions cannot be stopped that easily. However for Georgia's ruling administration as well as the opposition for now it is more significant how the US assesses internal processes within the country – democratisation, the on-going constitutional reform and future elections. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton praised Georgia’s democratic path; the May 30 elections were evaluated as successful as well as the amendments to the constitution. Indirectly Secretary Clinton hinted that Georgia should observe and take into consideration the recommendations of the Venice Commission. Some weeks ago the Venice commission delegation advised that the constitution should not be adopted before the Venice commission presented its final conclusions in mid-October.

Georgian leaders however are hurrying to adopt the new constitution; they have decided to have the third reading on October 12, with the adoption on the same day. Paradoxically the ruling power wants to adopt the constitution hastily, before receiving the final recommendations of the Venice commission despite protests from the opposition and advice from independent analysts. But this hastily adopted constitution will come into force until the end of 2013! This is not funny, but rather a very serious and deliberate move.

Opposition and independent analysts are of the opinion that the Venice commission will give advice which will be categorically unacceptable to Georgia’s ruling power. But somewhere along the way the Georgian leadership made a commitment to wait for the final conclusions of the Venice commission. Just over the weekend information appeared on media and state controlled TV channels that the Venice commission has already submitted the final version of its remarks and advice on the new constitution.

A second draft on the draft constitutional law on amendments and changes to the Constitution of Georgia can be found on the Venice Commission’s website, but it is not a the final version – if it were then the exact term “final” would have been used.

Georgian opposition members as well as some independent analysts are certain that all these manipulations are for one reason only – to ensure that the current president of Georgia, Saakashvili remains in power, this time as a PM, and the new constitution is means of better marketing this outcome. It will be interesting to find out the opinion of the US, EU and other friends and partners of Georgia concerning this new Putinisation and how well it will fit the new wave of democracy, highly promoted by the country’s leadership. It will be interesting to once and for all fix moves that are not just steps towards democracy but that are genuinely democratic. One Opposition leader, Irakli Alasania is optimistic, believing that the US in particular is very committed towards the democratic development of Georgia and links this with the next parliamentary and presidential elections.