TBILISI, DFWatch–With the inauguration of the new president in Georgia, many things will be different. We give you a rundown of the main changes.
After the inauguration of Giorgi Margvelashvili as the new president, the new Constitution came into force. These amendments were passed in 2010 and made it necessary to have three quarters majority to change the constitution instead of 2/3, which means that 113 out of 150 votes are necessary.
In addition, it became more difficult to confirm a new constitutional draft. Before, it was necessary to review and confirm a draft in two weeks, but now it will require at least three months.
The ruling Georgian Dream coalition proposed to leave in force the previous regulations; but the United National Movement successfully opposed to this. If with two thirds rule the Coalition would need 100 MPs for ensuring constitutional amendments (now there are 97 MPs in its disposal), now it needs not less than 113 votes, an unlikely scenario taking into account current status quo.
Since the inauguration the power of the president was reduced and the prime minister’s increased.
The president will no longer be allowed to manage and implement country’s domestic and foreign policy. According to the new constitution, the president remains the commander in chief of the military and represents the country in foreign affairs.
The president will need to agree with the government in order to have negotiations and sign treaties with other countries and international organizations; he also can appoint ambassadors only after the government, i.e. the prime minister, presents them.
All the decrees and acts issued by the president will need to have the signature of the prime minister to come into force, except when the country is at war.
President no longer has the right to propose a legislative initiative in the parliament and require a special review of the draft. It is now easier to overcome the president’s veto in parliament, with majority of votes out of the MPs full list, i.e. with 76 votes.
The new constitution does not allow the president to hold any position in any political party. He is not allowed to independently appoint a referendum, to staff the government or dismiss it. The president don’t control the law enforcement ministers and will not be able to abolish government acts.
The ruling coalition thinks the constitution needs to be amended to adjust these powers’ swap, and has already created a commission to prepare a new draft in order to balance the power between the government and the parliament.
The commission was created a month ago and its chairman is Davit Usupashvili, speaker of the parliament. The commission has already started to work as promised after the inauguration. A draft will be ready by the end of summer.