President Margvelashvili Predicts His Veto Will Be Overridden Again
By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Friday, February 16
On February 14, in his interview with Palitranews TV, President Giorgi Margvelashvili commented the fact that Georgian Parliament's Economic Committee has failed to support president's motivated remarks on the Law on Broadcasting. Margvelashvili noted that the presidential veto has become one of the main means of consolidation and uniting for Georgian Dream. It does not matter how much the MPs agree with the President's remarks about an issue, their main aim is to override a veto and prove that they have political significance: "How many times should the veto be overridden? The ruling party finds its unprecedented spiritual and emotional union in the process of overriding vetoes, it gives the feeling that they truly succeeded. That's how it works: After overriding my vetoes, they were using my remarks to make new amendments in the legislation. The same thing happened in case of constitutional reforms. They are making amendments to the same topics, which I was demanding in 2017. In the current case, I think that the veto will be overridden, but they will not adopt the new amendments and the previous version of the legislation will stay in force. Technically, this means that they accepted my remarks, but they don't recognize it formally,"- stated Margvelashvili.
Using veto has become a common way of communication between the Parliament and the President of Georgia. Here is the list of Margvelashvili’s most known ten vetoes. Georgian Parliament accepted the remarks of the president only 2 times, 7 times the vetoes were overridden, and one veto is in the process of discussion.
1. October 2014 - President vetoed delaying the date of adoption of surveillance bill, defining which governmental bodies were eligible to have direct access to covert surveillance. The Parliament accepted his remarks;
2. November 2014 - the President vetoed the legislation allowing governmental agencies to have direct, unrestricted access to telecom operators' networks; Parliament overrode it.
3. July 2015 - President vetoed controversial bill about National Bank of Georgia, which deprived the National Bank of the function of financial supervision. Parliament overrode it.
4. May 2016 - President vetoed a series of reforms to the Constitutional Court of Georgia. Parliament approved it;
5. January 2017 - President vetoed bill on judicial reform. Although the president welcomed the "many useful" changes that the package of amendment included, Margvelashvili had some remarks, which were overridden by the Parliament;
6. March 2017 - President vetoed surveillance bill, considering the creation of an operational-technical agency, regarding covert surveillance. Parliament overrode it;
7. July 2017- President vetoed local self-government bill, according to which seven self-governing cities were deprived the status of self-governing. Parliament overrode it;
8. July 2017- President vetoed the bill, about the recruitment of Central Election Commission. Parliament overrode it;
9. October 2017- The President vetoed the constitutional bill, adopted by the parliament in September. Parliament overrode it;
10. February 2018- The President vetoed the bill about public broadcaster.
As the president Margvelashvili predicted, it is expected that the Parliament will override veto concerning politically important issues.
According to Georgian legislation, the Parliament needs only 76 votes to override the presidential veto. Considering that the ruling party- Georgian Dream, has 115 members in the parliament, it is not hard to understand why most of the vetoes have been overridden. The question is: What is the importance of the President's veto?
The main function of the veto of the President is to focus the attention of society on specific issues he thinks is harmful to democratic processes. It also highlights the fact that there is disagreement between the president and the parliament, and these disagreements are presented as motivated remarks.