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EU Delegation calls on all Georgian political actors to jointly act for new Constitution

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 11
The European Union (EU) Delegation to Georgia stated they share the Venice Commission’s position over the Constitutional amendments in Georgia, and similar to the Venice Commission, the delegation calls on the relevant political parties in Georgia to work together in order to complete the adoption of the new Constitution.

The Delegation said they welcomed the commitment of the Georgian Parliament to consult the Venice Commission and will fully incorporate its recommendations.

However, the statement reads that the Venice Commission regrets the postponement of the introduction of the proportional electoral system, and it also formulates several specific recommendations concerning freedom of religion and in the area of the judiciary.

“Regarding the process of political consultations between the parliamentary majority, opposition forces and other participants, the Delegation of the European Union regrets that a valuable opportunity has not been properly seized to build broader consensus around the amendments to the Constitution,” the EU Delegation stressed.

The Delegation expressed hope that the Georgian Dream (GD) parliamentary majority will keep to its commitment to allow electoral blocks and apply a three percent threshold for the 2020 parliamentary elections, as well as to abolish the bonus for the winning party, when fully introducing proportional parliamentary elections in 2024.

The Delegation of the European Union encourages all relevant political actors to work together further to complete the adoption of the new Constitution,” says the statement.

The Georgian Constitution was adopted by the Parliament with the third reading on September 26.

The document was sent to the Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili for his signature, however, the President dismissed the bill and attached six motivated remarks to it, that were agreed after the President’s meeting with the opposition.

The GD majority says they agreed with the President that only two remarks would be applied to be dismissed. They assure they will override the dismissal, and adopt only two changes that envisage the abolition of the so-called bonus system and also allow formation of election blocs this year.

The Venice Commission issued its final report about Georgian Constitution on October 6, saying the constitutional reform process completes the evolution of Georgia’s political system towards a parliamentary system and constitutes a positive step towards the consolidation and improvement of the country’s constitutional order, based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights.

However, the Commission added that the postponement of the entry into force of the proportional election system to October 2024 is highly regrettable and is a major obstacle to reaching consensus.