Georgian Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze approved on December 23 the composition of the state constitutional commission consisting of 73 members, among them experts and representatives of seven political parties, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.
Kobakhidze said that the commission will hold its inaugural session on December 24 and start its work officially in order to table the constitutional amendments before April 30, 2017. Parliament’s Vice Speaker from GDDG, Tamar Chugoshvili was appointed as the secretary of the commission.
The list of 73 members formally includes three representatives of the President’s administration: Head of the President’s Administration, Giorgi Abashishvili; President’s Parliamentary Secretary, Ana Dolidze and Secretary of the National Security Council, Davit Rakviashvili.
The President’s administration reiterated that its representatives will not participate in the commission’s activities, because the President’s position remains unchanged. Earlier the President’s administration cited lack of “political trust and political legitimization” as the argument behind the boycott.
“Regretfully, the President’s administration refrains from participating in the commission at this stage, but we hope that they will get involved at a later stage,” the Parliamentary Chairman said on December 23.
The parliamentary and non-parliamentary political parties will have 38 seats in the 73-member commission.
Along with Irakli Kobakhidze, the ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia will be represented by 23 lawmakers: Tamar Chugoshvili, Archil Talakvadze, Zviad Dzidziguri, Giorgi Volski, Ilia Nakashidze, Mamuka Mdinaradze, Kakha Okriashvili, Koba Narchemashvili, Simon Nozadze, Nino Goguadze, Eka Beselia, Vano Zardiashvili, Davit Matikashvili, Giorgi Kakhiani, Irakli Sesiashvili, Giorgi Liluashvili, Sopo Kiladze, Gedi Popkhadze, Manana Kobakhidze, Zakaria Kutsnashvili, Zaza Gabunia, Savalan Mirzoyev, Enzel Mkoyan.
The opposition UNM party will have eight members: Sergi Kapanadze, Otar Kakhidze, Giorgi Tugushi, Zurab Chiaberashvili, Khatuna Gogorishvili, Salome Samadashvili, Mamuka Chikovani, Irakli Abesadze.
Alliance of Patriots will have two members in the commission: Irma Inashvili and Nato Chkheidze.
Salome Zourabichvili, majoritarian MP in Tbilisi’s Mtatsminda district, will be represented as an independent lawmaker.
The commission will also involve one representative from each of the parties and the leading parties in the electoral blocs, which failed to clear the 5% threshold, but garnered at least 3% of votes in the last parliamentary elections. In particular, the following persons will participate in the commission’s activities – Shalva Shavgulidze of Free Democrats; Dimitri Lortkipanidze of Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement; Nika Machutadze of Paata Burchuladze’s State for People party and Giorgi Gugava of the Labor Party.
The government will have two members –Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani and the government’s parliamentary secretary, Shalva Tadumadze. The commission will also involve the chairpersons of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, Zaza Tavadze and Nino Gvenetadze, respectively; heads of legislative and executive bodies of Adjara, Davit Gabaidze and Zurab Pataradze, respectively; heads of legislative and executive bodies of Abkhazian Autonomous Republic, Gia Gvazava and Vakhtang Kolbaia, respectively; Georgian Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili; President of the National Bank of Georgia Koba Gvenetadze and Chairperson of the State Audit Office, Lasha Tordia.
Seven non-governmental organizations will have their representatives in the commission, among them Ana Natsvlishvili, head of Georgian Young Lawyers Association; Eka Gigauri, director of Transparency International - Georgia; Mikheil Benidze, head of International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy; Vakhtang Natsvlishvili of Open Society – Georgia Foundation; Lasha Tugushi of Georgian National Platform; Arno Stepanyan of Multinational Georgia; Davit Asatiani of Georgian Bar Association.
The list of 13 experts invited to the commission includes: Avtandil Demetrashvili, Joni Khetsuriani, Mindia Ugrekhelidze, Vakhtang Khmaladze, Vakhtang Dzabiradze, Tengiz Sharmanashvili, Vakhtang Menabde, Rati Bregadze, Vasil Gonashvili, Shalva Papuashvili, Zaza Rukhadze, Ana Pirtskhalashvili, Zviad Kordzadze.
The Parliamentary Chairman also said that he held consultations with ex-Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili on his involvement in the commission, but “since he has political past and political present, and cannot either participate as an expert, it became the reason for a regretful circumstance that Usupashvili will not able to participate in the commission’s activities.”
He also added that the commission “will be absolutely open for everyone.”
“We will listen to everyone; the door will be open for everyone; the state constitutional commission will accept the opinions from everyone and take them into account,” Kobakhidze said.
According to the commission’s statute, the commission will make decisions by a majority of its members.