News

01
February2013

Observations and opinions on the changes to be made to the Constitution of Georgia

NGO Georgian Democracy Initiative has sent its observationsand opinions on the changes to be made to the Constitution to the Parliament of Georgia.

Georgian Democracy Initiative believes that the initiated draft Law on Changes to the Constitution increases the risks of a political crisis, instead of decreasing them – passing the changes with the proposed wording will disrupt the formula of avoiding a political crisis that exists in the Constitution today, which can bring the processes to a legal deadlock, including leaving the State without the legislative and executive branches at the same time.

If the changes are implemented, the President will still have the right to dismiss the government without any preconditions. At the same time, the President will not be obliged to impose the fulfillment of obligations on the dismissed government, which contradicts one of the main aims of the draft law: “Until the Parliament forms a new government, the dismissed government shall continue fulfilling the obligations of the government.”

In the case of dismissal of the government, the President will be authorized to submit a new composition of the government to the Parliament for confidence. If the government and the governmental program fail to gain the confidence of the Parliament, according to the changes, the President will become obliged to dismiss the Parliament within three days and schedule extraordinary elections, including during the last six months of his/her term in office.

The current wording of the Constitution deprives the President of the right to dismiss the Parliament within the first six months of the election of the legislative body or during the last six months of the President’s term in office. Accordingly, after the changes, the President will be granted the authority to dismiss the Parliament in both of the aforementioned cases. We believe that such a change contradicts the general aims of the draft law to weaken the President’s role and his/her influence on the executive and legislative branches of government.

In addition, Georgian Democracy Initiative considers it important that the Parliament of Georgia formulate a clearer definition of the last six months of the term in office of the President of Georgia, because the last six months of the President’s term is calculated on the basis of the aforementioned norm.

If the proposed changes are adopted, the Prime Minister and the Government won’t be able to exercise their authorities without gaining the Parliament’s confidence, while the President will not be able to form the government without the Parliament’s consent. Accordingly, there will emerge a situation where the President, due to the obligations imposed on him/her as a result of the changes, has dismissed the legislative body and, at the same time, he/she is not able to form the government until a new parliament is elected.

If events develop along these lines, the proposed normative reality will make the emergence of a political crisis inevitable, while the State, as already noted, will be left without the legislative and executive branches of government at the same time.

In order to avoid the aforementioned problems, Georgian Democracy Initiative asks the Chairman of the Parliament to take the organization’s view into account when reviewing the draft law and to make it available for other members of the Parliament.