The Parliament launched on July 21 formal procedures required for emending the constitution, which will cut next President’s powers in favor of Prime Minister.
Lawmakers voted in favor of setting up of a 36-member group, which will lead one-month long public discussion on the proposed draft of constitutional amendments – a formal procedure a formal procedure required for any constitutional law after which a draft becomes eligible for the parliamentary vote.
According to the final draft, which was approved by the state commission on constitutional reform on July 19, the executive branch will be led by Prime Minister, nominated by a party, which will garner most of the votes in the parliamentary elections.
The draft also gives some additional powers to the legislative body, among others, also including simplifying process of overcoming presidential veto.
According to the draft, the proposed amendments should go into force from December 1, 2013. There are few provisions in the draft, including one chapter dealing with the local self-governance, which should go into force starting from January, 2011, according to the draft.
Vice Speaker of the Parliament from the ruling party, Mikheil Machavariani, indicated on July 21 that the Parliament would probably start discussion of the draft with consequent voting by mid-September.
The parliamentary minority has called not to hurry and not to coincide the process of one-month public discussions with summer holidays in August.
“This is very important process and this discussion should have high level of public trust. The process should be all-inclusive and transparent and we should not set any timeframes and not to speed-up the process,” MP Giorgi Targamadze, leader of Christian-Democratic Movement and of parliamentary minority, said.
Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Bakradze, responded that the process of constitutional reform started a year ago when the state commission was established and the draft itself became available on May 11, when the state commission endorsed its initial version.
“We have been discussing it for a year already and the process has been transparent… We will not start discussing in the parliament of the draft in mid-August of course, but we will not also drag-out the process,” Bakradze said.