- Category of organic law to remain in new model;
- PM will need deliberation with gov't to appoint governors;
- Parliamentary debates on draft will start after Venice Commission’s visit
A group, which led series of public discussions on proposed constitutional amendments, held its closing meeting on September 13, technically paving the way for launch of parliamentary debates on the constitutional reform.
But as Davit Bakradze, the parliamentary speaker and chairman of the group, said on September 13, lawmakers should launch discussion of the draft at parliamentary session only after a delegation from the Venice Commission, Council of Europe’s advisory body for legal issues, visits Georgia on September 16-17 and provides the authorities its final recommendations on the proposed draft.
Public discussions started in late July and it was led by the 36-member group, known as Commission on Organizing Public Discussions; the process was a formal procedure required for any constitutional amendment before it is discussed by the Parliament.
After the group’s final meeting, which was held behind the closed doors, Bakradze told journalists that the commission had agreed to take into consideration recommendations calling for maintaining category of “organic law” in the new model.
Another important change in the draft, he said, would be related to the rule of appointment of regional governors. The current draft says that PM appoints and dismisses provincial governors, instead of the President as it is under the current constitution. It, however, was decided to take into consideration a recommendation by the Venice Commission according to which PM will appoint governors with deliberation of the government.
"It is an important amendments, because under the new model government may consist of a coalition cabinet, so in case of a coalition government more political forces will be engaged in appointment of governors," Davit Bakradze said.
It has also been decided to include a formulation in the draft, which will further strengthen guarantees for property rights, Bakradze said.
Avtandil Demetrashvili, a chairman of the state commission which developed the draft, told journalists before the meeting that discussion of timeframes of constructive vote of no confidence was expected; the timeframe in the proposed draft were criticized by the Venice Commission as “excessively long.”
MP Giorgi Targamadze, leader of parliamentary minority and of Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), said before the meeting that he was planning to propose to change the date of the new constitution’s entry into force. He said it should be enforced after the 2012 parliamentary elections and not in December, 2013 after President Saakashvili’s second and final term in office expires.