PM says ruling party took historically unprecedented steps for a refined constitution

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has evaluated the constitutional draft. Photo by Government of Georgia press office., 26 Sep 2017 - 14:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated at today’s government meeting that the Georgian Dream leadership took a "historically unprecedented steps” to adopt the constitution which would be in line with highest European standards.

The constitutional draft was arrived at through truly unprecedented public involvement,” Kvirikashvili stated.
Unfortunately the opposition is trying to portray the draft as a one-party document, which is not true, as political parties, experts and NGOs were participating in the constitutional discussions. Such a process was unprecedented,” Kvirikashvili stated.

The PM stressed that the constitutional draft has received high evaluations from the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.

The Venice Commission assessed the draft as a document based on the principles of democracy, the state of law and fundamental rights protection,” Kvirikashvili stated.

Kvirikashvili highlighted that Georgia could be proud of the document which  ensures balance between state institutions, a strong parliament, effective government, fair court and an impartial president.

PM Kvirikashvili stated that the Venice Commission gave high assessments to the constitutional draft. Photo by Prime Minister's press office. 

The PM stated that the ruling party took various steps to reach consensus with the opposition over the document.

For this:

  • The ruling team accepted the president to be directly elected for 2018 for a six and not a five year term, until the country moved to the fully proportional elections in 2024 and a president would be elected by a special council.
  • The Georgian Dream accepted the fully proportional elections, which has been the dream of all the opposition parties for many years.
  • The majority lowered the election threshold to 3 percent from 5 percent for the 2020 parliamentary elections, until the country moved to the fully proportional elections, and allowed the   creation of election blocs for the following parliamentary race.
  • The draft prohibited selling agricultural lands to foreign nationals.
  • The amendments boosted the opposition rights in parliament and permitted them to create investigative commissions and others.
We can openly say that the constitution we are about to adopt fully responds to the needs of our people and the development agenda of our country,” Kvirikashvili stated.

Kvirikashvili said that many people had fought for the type of constitution in previous years and none of the key changes were achieved under the previous United National Movement leadership, which "fitted the document to one party, one man [ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili] interests.

Parliament is scheduled to vote on the constitutional draft with its third and final reading today.