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Constitutional Amendment Goes into Force
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 27 Mar.'13 / 17:29

Constitutional amendment, stripping the president of his right to appoint new government without Parliament’s approval, came into effect after President Saakashvili signed it.

The amendment was published by the state online registry of legal acts, Sakanonmdeblo Matsne, on March 27.

The amendment, which was initiated by the Georgian Dream coalition in December, was passed unanimously by the Parliament with its first reading on March 21 and with final, third reading on March 25.

The proposed amendment was the major issue of political wrangling between GD and UNM for more than three months. UNM lawmakers agreed to vote for the amendment only after GD agreed to at first hold a test vote as it was demanded by the parliamentary minority on March 21.

Unanimous approval of the amendment was met with international praise with the U.S. Department of State saying that it “paves the way for the consolidation of Georgian democracy and renewed focus on the many issues facing the government.”

In a joint statement EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said on March 26, that bipartisan consensus over the issue “demonstrates the commitment of all sides in Georgian politics to good governance in the national interest.”

“The constitutional amendment, which confirms the role of the democratically-elected parliament in approving the appointment of a new government, consolidates Georgia's democracy and sets an important precedent for co-operation between all parties in Georgian politics,” the statement reads and calls “on all stakeholders in Georgia to continue to work together in this constructive spirit in the best interests of the Georgian people.”

Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili, said on March 25 that the approval of this constitutional amendment was paving the way for the President Saakashvili to deliver his annual state of the nation address in the Parliament.

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