სახელმწიფო საკონსტიტუციო კომისია
Irakli Kobakhidze speaking about the Constitutional reform at the Venice Commission plenary session
“Georgian people will have stronger guarantees for democracy, rule of law, social state and human rights and will have stronger Parliament”, - he stated.
The Speaker thanked the Venice Commission President, Gianni Buquicchio and the Secretary, Thomas Markert, as well as experts.
The Parliament attached particular attention to cooperation with Venice Commission, he stated. the Speaker emphasized the essence of the changes.
The current Constitution is not in compliance with checks and balances and retention principles, he stated which is evidenced with the Venice Commission opinion of 2010. The current Constitution allows the Government forming the authoritarian regime. “Now, we strived to ensure compliance of the Constitution with checks and balances and retention principles, as well as provision human rights protection guarantees and rule of law, democracy and social state principles. The current Constitution allows the Government forming the authoritarian regime. We want to have the Constitution eliminating any threat of authoritarian regime in long-term run and we believe that the new document will ensure effective guarantees”.
The Parliament fulfilled the promise given to Venice Commission that none of the norms will be adopted negatively estimated by the Commission.
The Speaker underlined that the new edition provides none of the norms beneficial for the ruling party unlike the current edition. “Initially, we strongly promised the Venice Commission not to adopt any of the norms negatively estimated by the Commission and we adhered to the promise. One of the most important issues noteworthy is that there are no norms if we compare two various documents – current and new Constitution – there are no norms beneficial for the ruling party. No one will find the norm endorsing not only amendment of the Constitution but change of the Constitutional culture and traditions in Georgia, which was another important step”.
Similar to Venice Commission, the ruling party expresses regret due to absence of wide consensus between the political parties. “Venice Commission speaks about consensus and expresses regret due to absence of the consensus regarding the Constitution. We express our regret as well. Naturally, it would be better to achieve consensus between the political parties. As you know, the opposition parties and the President in the opposition since 2014 reject the Constitutional changes. Venice Commission stated that we have cooked a very delicious pie, though no one wants to taste it – neither opposition parties nor the President. The answer is simple: we cooked the pie not for the opposition parties or the President but for Georgian people and Georgian people will be the beneficiaries of democracy, rule of law, social state guarantees, of stronger human rights guarantees, stronger Parliament and the Parliamentary opposition, which is guaranteed under the new edition, stronger guarantees for judicial independence, stronger municipalities etc. The Constitution improves democracy and rule of law standards in our country”.
The ruling team has already confirmed to Venice Commission that the respective changes will be adopted regarding the bonus and blocs, besides the provisions on religion and manifestation freedom will be revised. “As to bonuses and blocs, we have confirmed to Venice Commission that respective changes will be adopted into the Constitution. According to the new changes, the bonus system will be annulled and the blocs will remain valid in a single manner for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. The changes will be adopted regarding the Constitutional Court. We will also revise the provisions on freedom of religion and manifestations.
Now, the President has the opportunity to issue the veto to the document according to the agreement between the Parliament and Venice Commission. In this case, we would be capable to undertake the changes related to the bonuses, blocs and Constitutional Court but we know that the President does not tend to realize his right on veto. We express our regret about this position of the President but we still can once again confirm that the new changes will soon be initiated to the Constitution by the Majority and we will ensure that the changes will be signed by all 116 Majority MPs to ensure that each of them assumes responsibility for the changes related to bonus, blocs and Constitutional Court”.
The Speaker thanked the Commission for support and stated that now Georgia has the European Constitution. “Once again, I would like to thank Venice Commission for support of the Parliament in reforming, for the final opinion and support to historical process in the country. Now, we will have the European Constitution. It was our primary objective to maintain the European standards. We establish a very strong Parliamentary system with proportional electoral system. Under hereof regulations, no authoritarian regime can be established in long-term run. We have witnessed three various formulations of the Constitution by various Governments establishing authoritarian regime in Georgia. Now, according to the new Constitution, it will be impossible and it was our primary objective”.