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President against abolition of National Security Council

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 11
The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, disapproves of the amendments to the constitution in the defense field, according to which the National Security Council (NSC) will be transformed into a National Defense Council.

Margvelashvili believes this is an “inadequate attitude towards national security issues”.

The President made the statement at Tbilisi Strategic Discussions at the Presidential Administration, which gathered representatives of the diplomatic corps, non-governmental organizations, and the legislative and executive bodies.

Margvelashvili shared with the guests his opinions about the deficiencies and challenges of the new security system in relation to the draft constitutional amendments.

The President believes that boycotting and the negative attitudes towards the NSC started a long time ago by establishing the State Security and Crisis Management Council.

“The body, which ensures the strengthening of the armed forces, has disappeared from the constitution and it has been substituted by a Defense Council, which will function only during wartime, and by the slogan that Georgia should become a member of NATO,” Margvelashvili stressed.

The President said that in a time when the main challenge to Georgian statehood remains Russian occupation, the role of the NSC is decisive.

"I think it is wrongly understood that the country does not need a main constitutional body which ensures the development of the military forces, provides civilian control over the armed forces and also to makes effective decisions on the country's defense capabilities," he added.

The amendments to the constitution were proposed by a special State Constitution Commission, which was set up to make amendments to the previous version of the main legislative document of the state.

Irakli Kobakhidze, the Parliament Speaker who chaired the Commission, stated last month that defense issues needed to be regulated in the constitution.

"The defense field needs to be regulated and the National Defense Council (NDC) will be established as a coordination of the constitutional organs during times of war. The President will be the chair of the NDC and he will have permanent representatives there, "he said.

The existing National Security Council is an advisory body to the President of Georgia, and is empowered to consider issues determined by the Organic Law on National Security Council of Georgia to draft highest political decisions.

It was set up mainly to organize the military development and defense of the country. The President of Georgia is the head the National Security Council. The President approves the structure of the National Security Council Office, its personnel, and regulations concerning the Office and its subdivision.