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Parliamentary Committees reject president’s motivated remarks

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 27
The Legal Issues and Regional Policy Committees of the Parliament of Georgia rejected President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s motivated remarks on the planned changes to the Election and Local Governments codes, after the President initially vetoed the planned amendments.

The majority of the Committees members stated that the remarks did not provide necessary argumentation against the changes which aimed to decrease the number of self-governing cities from twelve to five and give a victorious party a chance to have more representatives in the Central Election Commission.

The Georgian Dream majority representatives stated that through introduced changes the Government planned a better development for regions.

The President’s Parliamentary representative, Anna Dolidze, who familiarized the lawmakers with Margvelashvili’s remarks, stated that the MPs had a chance to see the drawbacks of the planned changes that would work against the state’s decentralization, but they “ignored the reality”.

“The lawmakers were mainly focused on discussing why the President generally uses the veto and not about discussing the content and point of his remarks,” Dolidze said.

She stated the President’s administration tried to introduce the tradition of deep discussions in Parliament over planned changes in laws, but in vain.

The opposition and NGOs appealed to the President to veto the amendments.

The Self-Government Code amendments were adopted by Parliament on June 30 with the third reading, which envisages the reduction of self-governing cities from twelve to five.

Amendments to the election code state that the number of a party’s representatives in the Central Election Commission would be dependent on the outcomes of the last proportional elections.

This means that the winning party may have more representatives in the Central Election Commission. If now the Georgian Dream ruling team has one representative in the Central Election Commission out of seven, after the changes are adopted they will have four representatives in the Commission, as the votes received by a party in the proportional voting format is multiplied by seven and divided by the total votes received by all parties in the proportional contest.

The majority can override the President’s veto without taking his remarks into account, as the Georgian Dream party holds 115 seats in the 150-member legislative body, which means they can easily gather necessary 76 votes to override the veto.