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NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Georgia's Constitutional Reform
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 17 Nov.'10 / 00:19

In a resolution passed on November 16 the NATO Parliamentary Assembly welcomed constitutional reform in Georgia, but expressed regret that consultancy of Council of Europe's advisory body for legal affairs was not fully used by Tbilisi in the process.

The resolution says that the Assembly is "welcoming... the process of constitutional reform, but regretting that full use was not made of the advisory mechanism of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe".

The Venice Commission in overall welcomed Georgia's new constitution, which will go into force from late 2013, as a "significant step in the right direction". It, however, said that it "would be desirable to further strengthen the powers of parliament."

The non-binding resolution by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which mainly focuses on issues related to Georgia's breakaway regions, commends the Georgian authorities on "their efforts to further democratic reforms, and in particular, to fight corruption, build democratic institutions and engage opposition in decision‑making."

It also welcomes "the conduct of competitive and democratic local elections" in May, 2010 and urges Georgia "to continue efforts to strengthen the rule of law and promote democratic reforms in all areas, particularly those that further engage the opposition".

The Georgian nationwide broadcasters allocated significant airtime to the the NATO Parliamentary Assembly's resolution in thier prime time news bulletins on Tuesday evening, but like the Georgian officials' televised comments on the matter, the TV coverage was also only focused on the part of the resolution which deals with Georgia's breakaway regions.

The most watched Rustavi 2 TV, which dedicated 20 minutes of its prime time news bulletin to the resolution, made only a partial mentioning of other issues in the document saying the the Assembly "assessed positively" Georgia's constitutional reform.

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