President Giorgi Margvelashvili declined the request of the Parliament of Georgia to convene a special session for discussing the proposed constitutional amendments, citing the need for continuing discussions on “drafting a better document.”
Speaking at his special press briefing on June 20, President Margvelashvili stressed that Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze’s statement a day earlier that the ruling party might consider postponing the introduction of proportional electoral system to 2024, “qualitatively changes the proposed version of the constitution.”
The President added that instead of the public’s hopes that the constitution would be “improved,” the only fundamental change in the proposed amendments applies to the presidency: “this relates to the rule of the presidential election, functions and competencies of the Commander-in-Chief and the abolition of the National Security Council.”
President Margvelashvili underlined that his refusal has a “political connotation,” since “it cannot change the situation and if the ruling party decides to hold the session, under the current constitution, despite the President’s rejection, it is still possible to convene the session and discuss this issue.”
The President then called on the ruling party to consider the recommendations of the Venice Commission and draft “a document of common accord.” “I hope that in this difficult situation, Georgian lawmakers and the parliamentary majority will not act hastily and will continue constitutional discussions following these principles,” Margvelashvili concluded.
Under the Constitution, the President is entitled to convene a special session between regular parliamentary sessions at the request of the Parliamentary Chairman, or that of not less than one fourth of MPs, or on the recommendation of the Government. If the President fails to issue a corresponding order within 48 hours after a written request, the Parliament will assemble within the following 48 hours.