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President Orders Commission on Constitutional Reform
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Jun.'09 / 15:27

President Saakashvili signed an order formally endorsing a commission on constitutional reforms on June 8.

According to the document, the commission’s purpose will be to amend the current constitution.

Avtandil Demetrashvili, a former chairman of the Constitutional Court, has been appointed as the chairman of the commission.

Twenty political parties have been invited to nominate one representative to take a seat in the commission, including those, which are behind the ongoing protests rallies. These parties, however, have rejected to participate.

The list of invited parties is as follows: the ruling National Movement party; Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM); National-Democratic Party (NDP); Georgian Troupe; On Our Own; Labor Party; Republican Party; Conservative Party; Industry will Save Georgia; New Rights; Georgia’s Way; Party of People; Movement for United Georgia; National Forum; Party of Freedom; Movement for Fair Georgia; Irakli Alasania’s political team; Democratic Movement – United Georgia; Democratic Party of Georgia; Georgian Women’s Party for Justice and Equality and Traditionalists Union of Georgia (these two latter parties are offered to have one representative).

Parties in the parliamentary minority – CDM; NDP, On Our Own, and also Georgian Troupe, whose leader, Jondi Bagaturia, is a lawmaker, but not in the parliamentary minority, have agreed to join the commission.  Ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli’s party, Movement for Fair Georgia, said recently it might join the commission but setting of “realistic” timeframes for drafting the amendments should be set and named end of August as a deadline.

Although no exact timeframe of the commission’s work is yet clear, CDM, a leading party in the parliamentary minority group, has offered that the commission should table a draft of the amendments no later than December 31, 2009.

A group of non-governmental organizations have also been invited, including Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy; New Generation-New Initiative; ALPE Foundation; UN Association of Georgia; Transparency International-Georgia; Liberty Institute; Article 42 of Constitution; Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development.
 
List of twenty legal experts and academicians have also been invited to join the commission. The list includes: Levan Aleksidze, a professor of international law at the Tbilisi State University (TSU); Davit Aprasidze, professor at the Ilia Chavchavadze University; Zaza Bibilashvili, a lawyer; Marina Garishvili, associated professor, lawyer; Gia Getsadze, a legal expert; Vasil Gonashvili, legal expert; Tornike Gordadze, doctor of political sciences; Zurab Davitashvili, doctor of political sciences; Giorgi Kakhiani, assistant professor at TSU; Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze, assistant professor at TSU; Mzia Lekveishvili, professor at TSU; Malkhaz Matsaberidze, professor at TSU; Prof. Dr. Ghia Nodia, director of International School of Caucasus Studies (he served as education minister in 2008); Zaza Rukhadze, legal expert, professor at the Georgian-American University; Iakob Putkaradze, professor of constitutional law; Ketevan Kokrashvili, legal expert; Soso Tsintsadze, professor; rector of the Georgian Diplomatic Academy; Kakhi Kurashvili, doctor of law; Nana Chigladze, doctor of law and Zurab Jibgashvili from TSU.
 
The President will nominate three representatives from his administration; the parliament and the government also have the right to name three preventatives each.

One representative will be nominated by Supreme Council of Justice; Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; National Security Council; Chamber of Control; National Bank of Georgia and Public Defender each.

Adjara Autonomous Republic, as well as Tbilisi-based Abkhaz government-in-exile and South Ossetian provisional administration will also name one representative each.

Deadline for nominating representative to the commission expires on June 20, according to the presidential order.

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