Parliament Speaker and leader of Republican Party, Davit Usupashvili, has called for initiating a bill that would reflect Georgia’s NATO aspirations in the Constitution.
The proposal was made in a response to a campaign by leader of the Democratic Movement party, ex-speaker of parliament, Nino Burjanadze, to constitutionally guarantee Georgia’s neutral “non-bloc status” – an issue, which she put in the center of her election campaign ahead of the October 8 parliamentary polls. It is also the main topic of her campaign TV ad in which Burjanadze tells voters that “non-bloc status” would guarantee restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity and economic wellbeing.
Early next week the parliamentary bureau, uniting senior lawmakers, will consider Burjanadze’s appeal to give her a go-ahead for collection of signatures of 200,000 citizens, required for a constitutional amendment to be initiated.
“The Parliament will not hinder even for a second procedures envisaged by the legislation,” Parliament Speaker, Davit Usupashvili, said, but also added: “Speculating with such issues and making everything, including Georgia’s state interests, [a tool] for scoring political points is inadmissible and unacceptable and as a chairman of the parliament I cannot be a passive onlooker of this process.”
“Therefore, I have decided to appeal my colleagues, members of the Parliament, to introduce a constitutional amendment and to write in a preamble of the Constitution: ‘to establish a full-fledged place in the Euro-Atlantic system of security and cooperation of democratic states’,” Usupashvili said.
He also said that it would be “an appropriate response” to those political parties, which try to constitutionally ban Georgia’s NATO membership.
A similar proposal was pushed for by UNM opposition party in early 2013, when it was trying to make the issue part of negotiations with the Georgian Dream ruling coalition, which at the time also included the Republican Party, over unrelated constitutional amendments. The issue has not been refloated up until now.