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Venice Commission head invites Georgian political parties to meet in Strasburg

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, August 3
Gianni Buquicchio, the Venice Commission’s President, has offered Georgian ruling and opposition parties a joint meeting in Strasburg on September 6, in order to reach a consensus over the amendments being made to the Constitution.

“The Venice Commission is convinced that a solution has to be found through dialogue among the political forces of Georgia, with the aim of reaching the broadest possible consensus,” the letter of Buquicchio reads, adding that it is not the role of the Venice Commission to propose a solution over the issue.

Buquicchio added that if the political forces of Georgia are willing to meet to discuss a possible compromise, the Venice Commission is ready to facilitate such discussions.

“I encourage you and the representatives of all the political parties of Georgia to use this opportunity to find a constructive compromise,” says the letter.

The Venice Commission sent the letter in response to the address of nine non-parliamentary opposition parties of Georgia: Free Georgia, New Rights, Labor Party, European Democrats, Freedom, National Forum and Veterans’ Party, which introduced the Venice Commission to the situation of the constitutional reform process and addressed with a proposal to mediate between the government and the opposition in the process of dialogue.

On July 31, the nine non-parliamentary parties received a reply signed by Buquicchio, which states that the Venice Commission is ready to organize a meeting with the Georgian opposition and the government in Strasbourg on September 6. According to the letter, preliminary consultations were held on the issue with the government as well.

Non-parliamentary parties believe that the Venice Commission's proposal is a serious chance of exerting pressure on the government to suspend the review of the constitutional amendments adopted in their second reading.

The Free Georgia faction has released a statement on behalf of the nine parties.

Non-parliamentary parties consider the Commission's proposal to be a serious chance to exert pressure on the government to stop the review of the constitutional reforms and to hold additional consultations on all important issues without exception, including the electoral system, the registration of blocs, the rules of presidential elections, and other issues.

“We will start consultations with other political parties and non-governmental organizations in the coming days in order to prepare the agenda and format of the September 6 meeting," says the statement of Free Georgia union.

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party also expressed their desire to participate in the Strasbourg meeting.

“We are ready to take part in political dialogue with qualified opposition parties, at any time and at any place,” parliamentary majority leader Archil Talakvadze stated.