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Constitutional Commission ends work this week

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, April 12
The 73-member state Constitutional Commission, tasked to offer the “best version” of the country’s main legal code, will reveal the working version of the draft this week, which will be followed by discussions until the final document is voted on in Parliament.

As the lawmakers state, the draft amendments say that the Parliament building will remain in west Georgia, in Kutaisi, and will not be moved back to Tbilisi, as was speculated or promised by various members of the ruling team earlier.

The Commission also decided that the President will be elected by an election collegium through secret voting for a five-year term.

The collegium will be composed of 300 members, including MPs and members of the representative bodies of the Autonomous Republics of Adjara and Abkhazia.

The Constitution will also define the notion of marriage as a "union of a man and a woman in order to create a family, which is based on equality of rights and the free will of spouses".

The 33-page document will be presented at the end of the week and a discussion process will take place afterwards.

The United National Movement opposition party is already critical of the draft.

Party member Roman Gotsiridze has also called the amendments as “returning Georgia to its Soviet, socialist past.”

NGOs have expressed their own criticism over the definition of marriage in the Constitution, and proposed that other types of civil unity should also be recognized as a family in the law.

However, the majority members said the offer was less likely to be taken into account.

Approving the draft amendments requires at least 113 votes in the 150-member legislative body.

The ruling Georgian Dream party has 116 members in Parliament.

The Constitutional Commission was initiated by the current ruling Georgian Dream party for the second time [firstly in 2013] in order to amend the Constitutional changes adopted under the previous United National Movement government in 2010.

The Commission was composed of members from the parliamentary majority, minority, experts, the civil sector and people from constitutional institutions.

People from the president’s administration were also invited to participate in the Commission’s actions, but they boycotted the process.