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The President negative to amendments

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 19
President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated he has a negative attitude towards the amendments to the law of Constitutional Court, which increases the quorum required for the Constitutional Court to decide cases.

Margvelashvili made comments about the issue in his interview with Rioni TV, one of Kutaisi’s local broadcaster. The President said he will make the final decision after Parliament sends the adopted law to him for his signature.

According to Margvelashvili, the law was adopted with procedural violations. Moreover, he wondered why the law was not sent to the Venice Commission or why the representatives of the Constitutional Court are not involved in the process.

Despite his questions, the President says he will make a final decision after a detailed consideration of the law.

“My position regarding the law is negative, but I will make the final verdict only after I look into the law,” said Margvelashvili.

According to current legislation, when the bill is sent to the President, he has 10 days to sign it or he can use his veto power.

In case the President uses his veto, the majority claims they will override it. At least 76 votes of the MP’s are needed to override the Presidential veto.

The bill was proposed by the ruling Georgian Dream-democratic Georgia (GDDG) party and it was adopted with its third reading by 81 votes on May 14.

Along with a higher quorum for making decisions, the bill on the Constitutional Court also proposes to increase the number of judges required to be present when the Constitutional Court sits as a full bench when discussing a case.

The bill also changes the rule of nominating and electing Chairperson of the Constitutional Court. According to the new amendments, the Chair should be selected by the Constitutional Court judges.

The opposition does not approve the bill, saying it will hinder the efficient functioning of the Constitutional Court. They say the bill aims at giving control over the Constitutional Court to the governing party.

The majority rejects all accusations and says the amendments will free the Constitutional Court from any political influence.

According to the Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee and one of the initiators of the bill, Eka Beselia, while working on the bill the main motivation was to release the Court from political influence.

“We want the court to have more independence. This is proven by the fact that the chairman will be elected by the Court itself, which takes place for the first time,” said Beselia.

Moreover, before the law was adopted Beselia claimed the bill would be sent to the Venice Commission in order to take into account their recommendations. However, after its adoption, the bill has not been sent yet.