State Commission begins work on constitutional reform

Davit Usupashvili opened first meeting of the state comission, 03 Mar 2014 - 15:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian politicians have begun to discuss possible changes to Georgia's constitution.

Head of Parliament’s legal committee, Vakhtang Khmaladze, said despite the recent changes to the constitution, additional changes still needed to be made.

Following today's meeting, Khmaladze underlined that members of the commission would discuss the balance between the rights and duties of Georgian President, Government and Parliament. Other changes would concern  the judicial system. 

"The mechanism that is used for the judges appointment should become more transparent," Khmaladze  told Georgian media. He also stressed futute reforms should make the judicial system more independent from the Government.

The issue of self-governance and territorial order of the country will also be discussed within the state Commission format. 

Kmhaladze stated the current constitution was limited to the "declaration of self-governance” without any specifics and that had to be changed.

The planned self-governance reform has already caused controversy within  the Georgian society. In particular, the Georgian patriarch opposed the draft law on self-governance. 

In addition, several  oppositional parties stated giving more rights to the municipal Government may lead to "separatism” in Georgian regions. 

The state Commission was formed by members of Parliament representing the majority and the opposition, as well as representatives of non-parliament parties and experts. 

The first meeting of the Commission was opened by Parliament chairperson Davis Usupashvili, who promised the reforms would not be dictated by the needs of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition.

Usupashvili mentioned that different political powers had access to the discussion surrounding constitutional changes and that would make the process more transparent and fair.

Leader of Parliament oppositional minority, Davit Bakradze stated he did not believe there was a need to change the constitution right now. However he mentioned that the opposition would monitor the work of the state Commission. 

"The Commission was initiated by the Government, we will look closely to its work and, of course will take part in it, if we see that the proposed changes are positive. However if the changes are negative, we and other political powers will oppose it, just like it happened on self-governance reform”, Bakradze stated.