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Constitutional Reform Commission’s Mandate Prolonged Again

Parliament endorsed unanimously on February 19 to prolong again a mandate of state commission on constitutional reform for another six months.

Deadline for tabling draft of constitutional amendments has been extended from March 1 to September 15, 2015.
 
A proposal has been presented by parliamentary speaker, Davit Usupashvili, who chairs the commission.

Speaking at a parliamentary bureau session on February 19, Usupashvili said that a lot of work has been done within the commission, but “for many reasons more time is needed to achieve a consensus” on constitutional amendments.

He told lawmakers later on the same day that taking into view complicated procedures for confirming a constitutional amendment, requiring endorsement twice at separate sessions, the sitting parliament will hardly be able to pass constitutional reform if amendments are not tabled before September 15. 
 
Usupashvili also said that there is a possibility that part of the amendments might be ready before the end of this spring session.

The commission was established in late December, 2013 with the original mandate to table draft of constitutional amendments by September 1, 2014; but in July deadline was extended till March 1, 2015.

The Commission is made up of five working groups, addressing areas ranging from checks and balances between the branches of government to territorial-administrative arrangement and general constitutional provisions, as well as rules of making amendments to the constitution.

Passing of a constitutional amendment requires support of at least 113 lawmakers in 150-member Parliament. GD parliamentary majority, which unites five parties, has total of 87 seats in the Parliament; UNM and Free Democrats opposition parties have 51 and 8, respectively, and there are four independent lawmakers.

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