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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Friday, September 20
Parliament discusses constitutional amendments

Online media Civil.ge reports that on September 18th, Parliament discussed a possible constitutional amendment that would cut some of the prime minister's powers. If passed, the amendment would go into effect after the presidential election in October.

The proposed amendment would also add a new clause to the new constitutional changes, addressing a situation if Parliament fails to confirm a budget. Voting on the proposed changes is scheduled for Friday.

Although Georgian Dream (GD) has enough votes in Parliament (90 votes) to overcome a presidential veto, it falls short of the 100 votes required for endorsing a constitutional amendment. Lawmakers from the United National Movement (UNM) said they will vote for these amendments.

The UNM, however, warned that it will withdraw its support if the GD majority continues pushing for another constitutional amendment. GD wants to lower the minimum majority for making any constitutional changes from three-fourths to two-thirds.

GD lawmaker Vakhtang Khmaladze, responded that these are two separate drafts which should not be tied together.

"If the proposed bill is acceptable, we should approve it regardless of our opinion about other issues...Letís speak about the threshold issue when it is debated." Khmaladze said.



European Commissioner: Georgia Ė one of the EU's most important partners

The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule, shared his impressions after meeting with Georgian Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani, the Georgian Justice Ministry said on Wednesday.

Fule wrote that Georgia is one of the EU's most important partners. Thule welcomed the readiness the Georgian government has displayed in wanting to further cooperation with the EU.

Fule stated that the European Union supports the eventual political and economic integration of Georgia. As evidence of this, Fule cited the possible association agreement between Georgia and the EU.

Thea Tsulukiani and Stefan Fule discussed the planned and ongoing legal reforms during their meeting. The reforms will be carried out by Georgia's Justice Ministry. Tsulukiani said that qualitative reformation of Georgia's justice system is its primary task.

According to Fule, the creation of a maximally constructive environment for reforms is essential before initializing an association agreement.

The two parties also discussed the upcoming presidential election in Georgia. The European Commissioner stressed the importance of holding a fair election which will strengthen democratic institutions in the country.

At the end of the meeting, Stefan Fule reiterated the EU's strong support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. According to Fule, the European Union is actively following events in the occupied regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. (Trend. Az)