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Georgia: passions around the Constitution2009-06-11 11:58
Yesterday, on June 9, the anniversary of political confrontation in Georgia, there were about twenty thousand oppositionists at the anti-government meeting. While Tbilisi is shaking with the street protest actions, the politicians are racking their brain over the future of the Constitution.
The former Prime Minister of Georgia, leader of the oppositional Movement for Fair Georgia Zurab Nogaideli proposed a new draft constitution. According to the Georgian media, he believes that Georgia needs a switch to parliamentary government. "We propose a new draft Constitution and a switch to parliamentary republic and mechanism so that the constitutional amendments would be followed by an election involving the whole people of Georgia who will determine their future", - Zurab Nogaideli said.
It has also been stated that Movement for Fair Georgia is going to cooperate with the State Constitutional Committee only providing that its work will be terminated at the end of August 2009. "We believe that there is enough time until August, 31 so long as everything was prepared years ago at an adequate level. In this case we agree to work with the Committee up to the collar", - the party chairman Petre Mamradze said.
It is also worth mentioning that the idea of forming a Constitutional Amendments Committee does not belong to the opposition: this was a personal initiative of Mikhail Nikolaevitch. The authorities suggested that the twenty political parties including those having initiated the protest actions should appoint one delegate to the Committee. The uncompromising opposition rejected the suggestion.
Considering the fact that any issue, even if it is not as important as the issue of amending the basic state document, generally detonates controversies, Mikhail Saakashvili signed a Decree on forming a Constitutional Committee on June, 8. The former Chairman of Supreme Court Avtandil Demetrashvili was appointed the Committee chairman. According to the president's decree, the delegates should be appointed before June, 20 and the draft Constitution should be completed by December, 31.
Will the politicians cope with the task before the New Year? Any forecasts would be irrelevant. In such an unpredictable country as Georgia, there is hardly anyone to venture at a long-term forecast; the more so, as the authorities and the opposition have failed to find at least one point of common interest during the last two months. That makes the submission of the draft Constitutional amendments by August, 31, as requested by Movement for Fair Georgia, initially impossible.