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President and majority discuss constitutional amendments

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, October 6
“Interesting and constructive” is how the head of the Administration of the President, Giorgi Abashishvili, assessed the meeting held between President Giorgi Margvelashvili and representatives of the Georgian Dream (GD) parliamentary majority.

The meeting was initiated by the President, and focused on two important amendments that will be made to Georgia’s Constitution, in the event that an agreement is reached.

“The President supports reaching a consensus on the constitutional issues, finding common viewpoints, and reaching an all-encompassing agreement on the document,” Abashishvili stated after the meeting on Wednesday evening.

He added that the President and his team will spare no effort to find common grounds for reaching a consensus, adding that if necessary Margvelashvili will meet with them again.

Prior to his meeting with the GD members, the President met with representatives of about 20 other political parties to discuss the issues.

Parliamentary majority leader Archil Talakvadze, who attended the meeting, stated that the President agreed that the two main amendments should be reflected in the constitution.

“We had a very interesting meeting with the President and we discussed the new Constitution and its related issues. The President sees the positive changes that have taken place during the constitutional reform, and agrees that the two issues that have been reached with the Venice Commission need to be implemented in a timely manner,” he stated.

The GD initiated several changes in the constitutional draft after it was adopted by the legislative body with its third and final reading on September 26.

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 2020 parliamentary elections.

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

The ruling team has 116 MPs in the 150-member legislative body.