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Constitutional Commission gets to work

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, March 6
The first meeting of the constitutional commission was held on March 3, 2014. Parliamentary Speaker Davit Usupashvili was the chair of the meeting. According to him, a new constitutional model will be created; one in which will not be adjusted to anyone’s interest. The question remains: how will the parliament achieve consensus on the various issues that arise, as without a consensus, the parliamentary majority will not be able to adopt the constitutional amendments. The Georgian Dream Coalition does not have enough MPs to pass the bill. The amendments also require the United National Movement members’ votes.

The constitutional commission was created in November 2013, and consists of 58 members and is divided into 5 working groups.

According to Parliament Chair Davit Usupashvili, the constitutional amendments will not be targeted either against or in favor of any political power.

The Georgian Dream reminded everybody that since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Georgian constitution has been amended according to certain personalities. Initially, it was fitted to President Shevardnadze, but after the Rose Revolution the constitution was tailored according to the needs of the Rose administration.

Indeed, Georgia’s current constitution was designed as a tool for then President Saakashvili to become the Prime Minister of Georgia and to remain in the leading position indefinitely.

The new constitution will regulate relations between those in charge of running the country – the president, prime minister, and parliament, and will also ensure the impartiality of the court system.

A very important issue related to the constitution will be territorial issues. There are two major opinions. One opinion suggests that Georgia become a federation. Others challenge this, supporting the idea that the constitution be adopted through consensus.

The UNM is blocking several issues. For instance, the parliamentary minority does not agree on returning the parliament to Tbilisi. The Georgian Dream however, wants the parliament back in the capital. As an alternative, the majority has recently suggested that sessions be held in Kutaisi, but have the parliamentary commissions conduct their activities in Tbilisi.