President has vetoed two bills passed by the Parliament in April one related to shortening deadline for the Constitutional Court to deliver a verdict into those applications, which cause suspension of validity of a disputed legislative act and another one is related to possible change of legal status to state universities, chief of President's administration, Andro Barnovi, said on May 10.
Parliament passed bill on shortening deadlines for the Constitutional Court on April 19.
According to the GD-proposed bill, if the Constitutional Court decides as an interim measure to suspend enforcement of a disputed legislative act, the court will have 30 days for consideration and for delivering its final verdict; in “special cases” Constitutional Court will have the right to extend the deadline for 15 more days; so in total the court can have maximum of 45 days.
A group of six non-governmental organizations said in a joint statement on April 19 that although shortening of deadlines was not unacceptable in itself, setting of 30-day timeframe was overly short period for proper consideration. The Constitutional Court also said that timeframe should be “reasonable”.
Some lawmakers from the Georgian Dream indicated that one of the reasons behind the proposal was to prevent possible dragging out of enforcement of reform of High Council of Justice (HCoJ). Bill on HCoJ was also vetoed by the President, but it was overturned by the Parliament and is expected to go into force next week. But GD expects President Saakashvili’s UNM party to take the bill to the Constitutional Court in order to further drag out its enforcement.
Another bill vetoed by the President is related to allowing non-commercial legal entities of private law to change their status into entities of public law. Opponents say this bill, which was drafted by the Ministry of Education, would apply to state universities and lead to limiting their autonomy.
After heads of Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University called on the President to veto this bill, Education Minister and Deputy PM Giorgi Margvelashvili said on May 7 that the bill aimed at overcoming “legal absurd” in which state universities were.
“State universities are now in legal absurd having status of both governmental and non-governmental organizations; so we are carrying out this change in order to put an end to this absurd and to move to civilized, European [standards],” Margvelashvili said.
This is the fifth case of vetoing a bill by President Saakashvili.
The first one was related to amnesty bill and it was overturned by the GD-dominated Parliament; second one was about reforming the High Council of Justice and third one was related to stripping a defendant the right to choose whether to have a trial by a jury or a judge; in respect of this latter the GD agreed not to overturn the veto.