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NGOs: Amendments, approved by the Georgian Parliament, contradict the Constitution

2011-12-29 18:28

Parliament of Georgia approved an amendment to the law "On Political Unions of Citizens" which contradicts the Constitution and laws of the country, according to Georgian NGOs.

October 28, the NGOs "Georgian Young Lawyers Association", "Transparency International - Georgia", "International Society for Free Elections and Democracy," "The coalition for freedom of choice" and "The Foundation Open Society - Georgia" sent appeal to the President of Georgia, asking to put veto on the bill.

According to amendments, introduced to the Law "On Political Unions of Citizens", political associations and legal entities that directly or indirectly associated with political parties, or are under control of the party, or having stated political goals and tasks must return donations, received from legal entities to engagement of the Act, within 3 days after the law got into force. Otherwise, the amount will be withdrawn from them in favor of the state budget and will become public property.

Georgian NGOs, some of which previously openly supported position of the Georgian government, believe that this provision contradicts the Article 42 of the Constitution, which states: "No one is liable for those actions when they were not considered criminal. The law, if it does not soften and does not eliminate liability, is not retroactive".

The NGOs believe that the Article 261-th law "On Political Unions of Citizens", which restricts the constitutional freedom of expression, is unconstitutional. The amendments to the Georgian Criminal Code, which impose an unreasonable and disproportionate severe penalties for those voters who turn to acting for political purposes the person requesting the service or material assistance, are also unacceptable to them.

The NGOs are appealing to Mikhail Saakashvili asking him not to allow violations of the Constitution and international law, the most important principles, to use its constitutional arrangements and return a bill with comments for revision to Parliament, IA REGNUM reported.

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