Parliament Adopts New Constitution

The parliament of Georgia approved the constitution draft by 117 votes on Tuesday.

The amendments, which will come into force after the 2018 presidential election, envisage moving to a classical parliamentary model.

The changes also implies introduction of a fully proportional electoral system from 2024, while the next 2020 elections will still be held under the existing mixed electoral system and with one-time 3% election barrier.

As for presidential elections, according to a new constitution, the President will be elected indirectly, by special electoral boards composed of 150 MPs, all members of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republics and voters named by the parties according to the results of the recent local self-government elections.

However, in 2018 the direct presidential elections will be held in order to elect the president for 6-year term.

Furthermore, the new Constitution envisages abolition of the National Security Council of the President and formation of the Defense Council instead, which will be created in case of martial law.

During the third hearing, the opposition parties left the parliament in protest.

The United National Movement (UNM) stated the motive of the Georgian Dream is to maintain power through these constitutional amendments.

The president's parliamentary secretary Ana Dolidze said stressed the Parliament adopted a document that belongs to nobody but one party.

“We missed a historic chance to draft a constitution of consensus and to take one more step towards democratic rule," Dolidze said.

The parliament Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze said the document will provide the country’s democratic development.

“Accordingly, the risk of formation of autocratic regime is practically zero,” he said.

The ruling party Georgian Dream (GD) has 116 MPs in 150-member parliament.

By Thea Morrison

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27 September 2017 09:45