Venice Commission President Gianni Buquicchio responded to the joint appeal of nine non-parliamentary opposition parties, saying that the Commission is ready to “organize a one-day meeting in Strasbourg, on September 6, 2017, gathering the representatives of the ruling coalition as well as of the opposition parties.”
Nine non-parliamentary opposition parties, including the Free Georgia, New Rights, Labor Party, European Democrats, Freedom, National Forum, New Georgia, Traditionalists and Veterans Party appealed to the Venice Commission President on July 25, and asked the institution to facilitate a discussion on the ongoing constitutional reform process.
“As I have previously stressed, the Venice Commission is convinced that a solution has to be found through dialogue among the political forces of Georgia, with the aim of reaching the broadest possible consensus,” reads the letter, undersigned by Gianni Buquicchio on July 31 and published by the Free Georgia party three days later.
“It is not the role of the Venice Commission to propose a solution; however, if the political forces of Georgia are willing to meet to discuss a possible compromise, the Venice Commission is ready to facilitate such discussions,” the Venice Commission President also noted and called on the representatives of Georgian political parties “to use this opportunity to find a constructive compromise.”
The non-parliamentary opposition parties endorsed the Venice Commission’s proposal and announced that they would start consultations with other opposition parties and non-governmental organizations.
“Non-parliamentary parties consider that the proposal of the Venice Commission is a serious chance to put pressure on the authorities to halt parliamentary discussions on the draft constitution adopted in its second reading and hold additional consultations on all major issues of the constitutional reform,” reads the statement of the nine opposition parties, published on August 2 in response to Buquicchio’s proposal.
The ruling party expressed its readiness for dialogue as well. “If the opposition wants a consensus around the Constitution, it is possible and the foundation of this could be laid in Strasbourg,” said MP Archil Talakvadze, leader of the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority.
The Parliament of Georgia adopted the constitutional amendments with its second reading on June 23. The third and the final hearing will be held in autumn 2017.