Georgia approves new Constitution

 Georgia approves new Constitution

Georgia's Parliament approved the bill on changes to the constitution with 117 votes in favour and three votes "against" it in the third reading.

"Today we adopted a historic decision that will become a basis for creating such a state system that will ensure the long-term democratic development of the country," Georgia's Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze said after the vote. He also thanked all the deputies who participated in the voting, Sputnik-Georgia reports.

Two of the three opposition parties in parliament refused to participate in this procedure - the United National Movement and the Movement for Freedom-European Georgia party. Parliamentarians from the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia voted against the amendments.

Amendments to the Georgian Constitution will not bring any appreciable benefit to Georgian citizens, the political scientists Iosif Tsiskarishvili and Giorgi Nodia told Vestnik Kavkaza today, assessing the significance of the new Constitution for the country, its power and Europe.

Josef Tsiskarishvili first of all stressed that the entire package of amendments to the Constitution is aimed only at strengthening the power of the Georgian Dream party, and not to protect the rights or increase the welfare of Georgian citizens. "Now our Constitution has become a serious problem for the unification of Georgian society, since de facto only one leading party became the dominant and sole parent of the version of the Basic Law that was adopted in the parliament," he said.

"The Constitutional majority belongs to just one person - Bidzina Ivanishvili. In fact, the only one who did not succumb to the country's privatization four years ago was Georgi Margvelashvili. I think it will be difficult to explain Europe how the majority in the parliament can be formed by one personб" Josef Tsiskarishvili noted.

"The Constitution, which was adopted today, reflects the interests of the ruling force alone," the political scientist concluded.

Giorgi Nodiya, in turn, expects that the new constitution can increase the level of democracy in Georgia. "The key amendments that caused the most debates concern the electoral system. The opposition was in favor of a proportional system, the ruling party resisted - a compromise was reached that a proportional system would be adopted, but it will enter into force after the parliamentary elections in 2020," he explained.

"With the change in this system it is quite realistic to expect that the political dynamics will also change, and perhaps we will be able to come to coalition governments in the future, which can have both positive and negative significance," the political scientist added.

At the same time, George Nodia noted that the Georgian Dream will have to continue moving towards European legislative standards. "Many of the European recommendations have been taken into account, but much has not been taken into account. There are still two main remarks of the commission: first, it criticizes the fact that these changes will not be used in the parliamentary elections of 2020, and secondly, the process of amending the Constitution was de facto one-party, there was no inclusive political process. The ruling party, in fact, considered the Venice Commission as its partner in the development of amendments, and not the opposition and civil society of Georgia," the expert concluded.

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