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President Slams Draft Constitution Amendments
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 21 Apr.'17 / 01:49

President Giorgi Margvelashvili, who has been at odds with the ruling party over the ongoing constitutional reform process, heavily criticized the draft text of the constitution, which was compiled by the Constitutional Reform Commission and made public by the Georgian media on April 20.

Speaking in Batumi as part of his “Constitution Belongs to Everyone” campaign, Giorgi Margvelashvili said it was “regretful” that the ruling party “neglected the clearly-expressed will of the people to elect the country’s President” and added that “the President will be elected not by us, the citizens, but by 300 delegates [only].”

“The President will no longer enjoy the already limited powers that were vested on the office in 2013,” Margvelashvili went on. “What is most dangerous, is that the country will no longer have a commander-in-chief, who ensures civilian oversight over the military, along with carrying out efficient defense activities and strengthening defense capabilities,” the President noted.

He also stated that the National Security Council has “disappeared” in the draft constitution, “leaving the President, who is tasked to serve as the Commander-in-Chief in wartime, as a Commander-in-Chief without any powers and any efficiency.”

Margvelashvili hailed that, under the new constitution, the legislature will be elected through fully proportional system, but noted that the new wording, with which the unallocated seats (calculated from the percentage of wasted votes) are to be entirely granted to the political party which won most votes in the elections, lacks reason.
 
“It has nothing in common with the logic of democracy – the honorable commission members should clarify to us, the society, what was the logic behind when they wrote that the winner would receive all unallocated seats.”

“Considering that the opposition parties quit the constitutional reform commission, that the posts of the President and the Commander-in-Chief are essentially disappearing, that we will elect political parties in a more progressive and proportional form, but at the same time through obscure electoral system, when nothing substantive and principled is said on self-governance and territorial arrangement, I think that we should actively convey our views and ideas to the commission,” President Margvelashvili added.

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