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Date to adopt amended constitution

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, September 19
The Georgian Dream majority has named the date it plans to adopt the changes in the country’s main law in its third and final reading amid strong criticism of the opposition and NGOs on several key points and the President’s offer to draft newchanges with the opposition.

The chair of Parliament’s Procedural Issues and Rules, GiorgiKakhiani, stated that the amendments to the constitution would be adopted on September 26 after the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe presents its final reconditions on September 22.

“It will be necessary to hold an extraordinary session next week, which should be appointed by the President. If PresidentGiorgiMargvelashvili does not appoint an extraordinary session, Parliament has the power to assemble in 48 hours and hold the session,” Kakhiani said.

"We will read the Venice Commission’s report in detail. I personally do not have any expectation that the report will include any legal remarks. We have taken note of all the Venice Commission's remarks,” Kakhiani added.

The Chair of the Committee on Procedural Issues believes that the Venice Commission would probably have legal remarks on the constitutional amendments that the President is drafting together with opposition parties.

He stressed that by developing alternative constitutional amendments, the President tries to gain support of the opposition and is preparing to reflect on the amendments in his veto.

"The President is preparing to use his veto. The Venice Commission will probably not have any legal remarks on our constitutional amendments, but it will probably have remarks with regards to the amendments that will likely be reflected in the veto," said Kakhiani.

Gia Volski, a Georgian Dream MP, says that the President and opposition consider the fulfillment of their ultimatum as a consensus.

A United National Movement MP, Roman Gotsiridze, says that the President will have “minimal remarks” for Parliament, which allegedly means the MP believes the President will use his veto.

Gotsiridze says the “minimal remarks” will be a chance for the ruling team to improve on the mistakes they made in terms of the constitution’s new draft.

“The minimum remarks will also remove any reason for the majority not to take the remarks into account,” Gotsiridze added.

The opposition, President and mostNGOs demand a full move to proportional elections from 2020 and not from 2024;the direct election of the president; and the fair sharing of the votes, received by the parties failing in the elections, between the parliamentary parties.