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Venice Commission reiterates its recommendations from 2010

By Ana Robakidze
Friday, October 18
The Venice Commission has once again reiterated the recommendations that it made in 2010. The commission stated that revising the constitution with a two-thirds parliamentary majority with two separate votes divided by a three month period would be the best option at this stage. The commission's recommendation was published on October 15th.

The Venice Commission states that “the procedure for amending the constitution is one of the most sensitive issues of any constitution. It is also a highly political issue that can only be determined in light of the history of the country and its political and legal culture.”

"There is no magic formula or best model for the constitution. However, the government has to balance the requirements of rigidity and flexibility and find at least a fairly wide-spread model –which typically requires a certain qualified majority in parliament (most often 2/3), and then one or more additional obstacles. These obstacles are either multiple decisions in parliament (with a time delay), or an additional decision by other actors (multiple players), most often in the form of ratification through referendum.” the statement reads.

The commission reiterates that a single vote by a 2/3 majority is insufficient and states "the introduction of a double vote separated by a period of three months is nevertheless a step forward....and probably the best option at this stage".

“The point of balance between rigidity and flexibility may be different from one state to another, depending on the social and political context, constitutional culture, age, level of detail and the characteristics of the constitution, and a number of other factors. This balance is not static and can change over time according to social, economic and political transformations." the document states.

The rules for amending the constitution were changed in 2010 and 2011. Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee, Vakhtang Khmaladze, finds the Venice Commission's recommendations to be acceptable. “I do not see any problems in receiving a 2/3 majority with two votes in a three-month interval.” Khmaladze said.