President Giorgi Margvelashvili refused today to convene an extraordinary plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia.
Chairman of Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze wrote a letter to the President yesterday on September 25, requesting to convene an extraordinary plenary session for September 26. The session is to discuss the package of constitutional amendments that are yet to be approved with their third hearing. The amendments concern the presidential and parliamentary electoral systems, among other topics.
The Parliamentary Secretary of the President of Georgia, Ana Dolidze, told journalists that the reason behind the President’s decision is that there are many errors in the package:
“It is the decision of the President of Georgia not to convene an extraordinary plenary session. First of all, this package on constitutional changes has several errors. One major error is that it isn’t a document of agreement. The formation of the document was done in a hasty manner and the recommendations of the Venice Commission didn’t end up included there. Eventually, we got a one-party document, as a result.
Taking all of that into account, the President of Georgia will not convene the extraordinary plenary session. This is a political action [from the President’s side], as according to the constitution, the majority has the right gather 48 hours later,” Dolidze said.
Parliament of Georgia said in an official statement issued on September 24 that:
“Pursuant to the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure, the Parliament of Georgia shall be entitled to consider and vote the draft Constitutional changes with the III reading. The III reading of the draft is scheduled for September 26 at the extraordinary plenary session starting at 14h00.”
Following a request from parliament, the President of Georgia has 48 hours to approve the extraordinary plenary session. If the president does not, Parliament has the right to gather 48 hours after.