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Constitutional changes still on the agenda

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, March 14
On March 18, at the parliamentary bureau session, the exact date when the constitutional changes will be discussed at the parliament will be announced. The major issue of those changes is to limit the presidentís power to discharge the government and appoint new members.

The draft amendments were intensively discussed by the politicians, NGO representatives and political analysts. Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) chairman Kakha Kojhoridze supports the amendments. Moreover, he thinks that the president should not be given the right to discharge the parliament because according to him, this is a favorable condition for creating instability in the country; Georgia does not need snap elections right now.

While discussing the issue, Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili said that the opinions suggested by civil society will definitely be considered. Meanwhile, both the parliamentary majority and minority will preserve their initial positions. The United National Movement (UNM) minority still demands in return that the constitution should say that Georgia is committed to join NATO and the EU; that parliament should stay in Kutaisi and the constitutional amendments should be carried out only by the three-fourths of MPs instead of two-thirds, as it is nowadays, opposition member Chiora Taktakishvili said.

However, the parliamentary majority believes that bargaining over the constitutional amendments should be halted. According to Georgian Dream MP Eka Beselia, they have spent enough time on this. She said the parliament should make a decision; every MP should take individual responsibility while voting.

These amendments were already discussed at the parliament but were not voted upon. The ruling coalition did not have a constitutional majority at that time, but later, negotiations went on about this issue, although no agreement was reached.

What is the situation like now? Does the Georgian Dream have enough a constitutional majority?

Since the election of a new parliament 12 MPs left the UNM. Some analysts think the process will continue and itís possible that the ruling coalition has already accumulated enough votes to adopt the amendments.

UNM members complain that the Georgian Dream has put pressure on their MPs. However, it looks like the Georgian Dream is ready for the final battle. As they say, every MP should individually vote with full responsibility.