PM Kvirikashvili: Constitutional changes contribute to Georgia’s democratic development

PM Kvirikashvili said the ruling team aims at improving the gaps their predecessors have made to the State Constitution back in 2010. Photo by the PM's press office, 22 Jun 2017 - 22:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili summarised the main changes to the State Constitution today.

According to Kvirikashvili:

  • The President will still be elected through direct elections in 2018
  • The country will move to a fully proportional election system by 2024
  • The election threshold will be decreased from 5 percent to 3 percent by 2020
  • Parliamentary opposition will have increased authority. In particular, they will be eligible to create an investigative commission
  • Judiciary will have a stronger warranty of independence
  • Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures will be defined as Georgia’s foreign political choice
  • Georgia’s agricultural lands will not be sold to foreign nationals, but long-term leasing will be available in exceptional cases
  • Quality of protection of labour rights will increase
  • The country’s social responsibility will increase.

Kvirikashvili said that all of the changes contribute to the country’s democratic development.

I want to address our society to realise the value of these achievements and welcome the progress that the constitutional changes will bring to the country in terms of balancing the branches of government and increasing the quality of democracy,” Kvirikashvili said.

Prime Minister also noted that after the 2010 constitutional amendments, the country ended up with a constitution containing numerous flaws, inconsistencies, and norms introduced in defiance of constitutional logic. 

Eliminating these flaws, balancing the constitution, and switching over to a fully-fledged parliamentary system of government was our team’s goal in initiating changes", Prime Minister said.

He said this is exactly why the State Constitutional Commission was established to bring together politicians, NGOs, and independent experts. 

Most importantly, public debates of unprecedented dimensions were held and the population of our country was given an opportunity to express its opinion on the proposed amendments" Kvirikashvili said.

The State Constitutional Commission decided last year to review the current constitution by the end of April 2017, which has been followed by public discussions over the proposed changes. The 73-member commission unites state and civil society organisations, parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties, and experts. 

President of Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio said the Venice Commission liked the majority of the changes drafted during the ongoing constitutional reforms in Georgia. Photo by The Georgian Parliament

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili also launched 'Constitution for All' campaign encouraging citizens to voice their opinion on proposed amendments to the current constitution.