Draft Constitution Restricts President's Commissions

The state constitutional commission will submit a draft constitution to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on July 20. It is upon the president to take a decision on submitting the bill to the parliament, the commission says. A public commission will be formed as soon as the draft constitution has been submitted to the parliament. After the public discussions, the parliament is expected to put the draft constitution to the vote.

The state constitutional commission approved the ultimate edition of the draft constitution on July 19 by 44 votes against three votes. Opposition MP Jondi Baghaturia, Levan Ramishvili from Liberty Institute and Tamar Khidasheli, chairman of the association of young lawyers of Georgia disapproved the document.

Under the draft constitution, the president will acquire the commissions of an mediator and stop to be an independent decision-maker.

Under the document, the president will maintain a high degree of legitimacy, as the president will be elected by nationwide elections, while the state leader will have to take decisions on foreign and various economic and political issues jointly with corresponding ministries. At the same time, the parliament will be authorized to ratify the documents signed by the President.

Under the document, the president will act as a mediator between the government and the parliament. Moreover, the parliament will be responsible for the government performance, not the president. The legislative body will be able to dismiss the government, while the president’s decision on the government’s dismissal will not be obligatory.

The president is banned to be member of any political party.

The document grants independence to the government in governing issues. The president is authorized to submit a prime minister’s candidate to the parliament. If the parliament disapproves the president’s candidate twice, the parliament is authorized to appoint its own candidate as a prime minister. If the parliament fails to appoint a new prime minister within 14 days, the President is authorized to dismiss the parliament.