Usupashvili Moves to Enshrine Georgia's Western Aspirations in Constitution

TBILISI- David Usupashvili, Georgia’s Parliament Speaker from the Republican Party, has said amendments should be made to the Constitution that will state Georgia’s Pro-NATO and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The Speaker made the statement in response to the leader of the Democratic Movement 'United Georgia,' Nino Burjanadze, who said Georgia should be neutral and should not become a member of any alliance.

Former parliament Speaker, Burjanadze, and her supporters are going to collect signatures in order to have the initiative defined in the Constitution. At least 200,000 signatures are required for a constitutional amendment to be initiated.

“Speculation regarding fundamental topics of national interest is inadmissible and unacceptable. I, as a Member of Parliament and the Speaker, cannot be a passive spectator,” Davit Usupashvili said Friday.

Usupashvili called on the members of Parliament to support his initiative in order to write in a preamble of the Constitution that Georgian people want to “establish a full-fledged place in the security and cooperation system of the democratic Euro-Atlantic states.”

Usupashvili’s petition needs the support of at least 75 MPs of the 150-seat legislative body for the amendment to come into force.

Burdjanadze says it is "up to the population to decide which petition to support."

“Georgia’s neutral status is the only opportunity for our country's unity, economic performance and progress,” she said.

The politician believes that the main priority is Georgia’s unification, not joining NATO or any other alliance. “I am sure that the majority will support Georgia’s neutral status. The population, not concrete politicians, should make a choice,” she declared.

The majority Georgian Dream (GD) has not decided which petition to support yet. However, they say GD is committed to Euro-Atlantic path.

According to GD Chair, Gia Volsky, Usupashvili made his statement sound as if the idea came from him. “The Georgian Dream cabinet has done too much for the Euro-Atlantic direction,” he stated.

As for Burdjanadze’s initiative, Volsky says it is “faulty and unrealistic.” “Of course we are not going to support it,” he said. 

Thea Morrison

14 August 2016 16:05