Constitutional Changes

Parliament Overturns President’s Veto of Constitutional Amendments

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Photo: რუსთავი 2

At an extraordinary session today, Parliament of Georgia discussed the motivated remarks of President Giorgi Margvelashvili regarding the constitutional amendments package which the president had vetoed on October 9.

The President’s veto was overridden with 117 votes in favour and 7 against. Opposition parties in the session agreed with the motivated remarks of the President.

The United National Movement opposition party did not participate in the voting; party members left the session in protest.

In a sign of protest against the constitutional package, MPs of the Movement for Liberty - European Georgia party placed a placard reading “Trampled Down Constitution.”

Opposition parties, the President, and civil society organizations have been criticizing the legislative package on numerous occasions since its first adoption in June, saying it is a document drafted by the ruling Georgian Dream party alone, and not a document of consensus.

One criticism is against the proposal for changes to the system of Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

In his remarks, President Margvelashvili made objections against the proposals to end the system of direct elections for the presidency by 2020, against the prohibition of creating alliances or electoral blocs in parliament, against the ‘bonus system,’ and suggests changes in Article 60, Part 6 of the Constitution of Georgia regarding the method of evaluating the unconstitutionality of elections.

Today Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze reiterated previous statements that the ruling Georgian Dream party suggested to have a proportional system from 2020, but that since the European Georgia party did not support the constitutional package, it was impossible to abolish the majoritarian system until 2024.

European Georgia MP Sergo Ratiani addressed the Georgian Dream saying that they have “deceived the voters.”

“Your own voters were applauding you because they thought you were switching to the proportional system, but you deceived them,” Ratiani said.

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