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GD Offers Constitutional Amendments
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Jun.'13 / 19:50

Georgian Dream coalition has tabled a proposal to change number of those constitutional provisions, which are scheduled to go into force after the presidential elections this October.
GD-proposed amendments include:

  • Keeping threshold for passing a constitutional amendment at 2/3 majority;
  • Keeping 2/3 majority threshold for overriding presidential veto on constitutional law;
  • Cutting some of PM’s powers vis-à-vis parliament when changing cabinet members;
  • Allowing holders of dual citizenship to be PM, President or parliament speaker;
  • New clause for cases when Parliament fails to confirm state budget;

According to new constitutional provisions, which will go into force after the inauguration of new president elected in the October election, threshold for passing any constitutional amendment will increase from current two-third (100 MPs) to three-fourth (113 MPs) majority.

With the newly proposed bill, GD offers not to increase this threshold and to keep it at existing two-third majority; UNM lawmakers have already indicated that they would be strongly against of this proposal.

Although GD holds the majority in the Parliament it falls short of 100 votes now required for passing a constitutional amendment.

New constitutional provisions, adopted in 2010, which will be enacted after this year’s presidential election, will significantly increase PM’s authority at the expense of cutting presidential powers.

Under the existing constitution in case of change of one-third of cabinet ministers, the entire government and the PM require to be re-confirmed by the Parliament. This clause will be removed after the new constitution goes into force after the October election.

GD-proposed constitutional amendments offer to keep this clause in order not to allow PM to change more than third of cabinet members without Parliament’s authorization.

New constitution will give the PM right to initiate non-confidence vote against the cabinet in respect of any government-sponsored bill. In this case the Parliament will have to either confirm government-sponsored bill with one reading, instead of three hearings, within 14 days or will launch non-confidence vote procedures.

GD-proposed constitutional amendments envisage removing of this close from the new constitution.

The proposal also envisaging introduction of a new clause in the new constitution according to which if the Parliament fails to confirm state budget within first two months of new fiscal year, it will amount to launch of non-confidence vote procedures; but if the Parliament fails to confirm new government, the President will have the right to dissolve the Parliament and to call snap elections.

Under the existing constitution the President has the right to either sack government or dissolve Parliament if the latter fails to confirm next year’s budget before the end of current year.

GD-proposed constitutional amendment offers not to enforce the part of new constitution, which envisages increasing minimum required threshold for overturning presidential veto on constitutional law from current two-third to three-fourth majority (113 votes).

In a separate draft of constitutional amendment, GD also offers to allow Georgian citizens, who at the same time are citizens of other country, to hold post of PM, President of parliament speaker. The constitution bans holders of dual citizenship to take these posts. PM Ivanishvili is a citizen of France.

In May Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili said that no major constitutional reform was planned before the October, 2013 presidential elections; he, however, also said that some amendments would be introduced to address some of the most urgent issues in the constitution.

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