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President appoints date of meeting with ruling party

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 4
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has offered the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party to meet over the newly-adopted constitution in the Presidential Palace on October 4 at 16:00.

The information was released by the head of the Presidential Administration Giorgi Abashishvili on Tuesday.

Abashishvili said that the President is ready for communication with any political parties, including the ruling party, adding that rumors that Margvelashvili does not want to reach a consensus over the constitution is ‘speculation’.

“In order to put an end to such speculations, I openly invite the ruling party and majority leaders to the meeting with the President,” said Abashishvili.

Before the statement of the Presidential Administration, the Deputy Parliament Speaker, Tamar Chugoshvili, stated that despite the majority’s readiness, the President is not willing to meet with them, while Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze said that Margvelashvili will not help to implement the recommendations of the Venice Commission, regarding the abolition of bonuses and allowing the creation of election blocs by the 2020 elections.

“There are two agreements on the Venice Commission that will be reflected in the constitution – the abolition of bonuses and the abolition of the ban on creating blocs. We have offered the President to use the right of veto in order to implement these changes in the constitution, but it seems that the President will not support implementation of the agreement reached with the Venice Commission,” he added.

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has offered consultations to the opposition and the ruling party after the adoption of the constitutional draft with its third and final reading.

The GD party initiated several changes in the constitutional draft after it was adopted by the legislative body. The initiative included the abolition of a bonus system in terms of undistributed votes, referring to the sharing of votes received by the parties failing in elections between the parliamentary parties.

The current draft reads that a bigger portion of the votes must be taken by the party which receives the most votes in the parliamentary elections.

The ruling party’s current initiative reads that the votes would be fairly shared between the parliamentary parties. The current draft also prohibits the creation of election blocs. However, in its initiative, the ruling party permitted such blocs for the next parliamentary elections in 2020.

The reflection of the initiative over the blocs and undistributed votes in the adopted amendments requires a separate bill that will take time, if the President refuses to use his veto for only some parts of the constitutional changes.

Parliament adopted the constitutional amendments with its third and final reading on September 26.

If the President vetoes the draft, the Parliament will either take the president’s motivated remarks into account over the draft or override the veto.

The ruling GD has 116 MPs in 150-member parliament. After overriding the veto, Speaker of Parliament will sign the draft and it will come into play as a law.