TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament in Georgia has forced through two more laws that were vetoed by President Saakashvili.
This is the latest in a series of vetoes by Saakashvili after the change of government in October, 2012. Under normal circumstances, his signature is necessary for a law to come into force, but the speaker of parliament may sign the law into force in his place after the bill has been vetoed twice by the president.
Saakashvili never vetoed a bill during the almost nine years his political bloc had government power.
His first veto as president was when he blocked a mass amnesty in the end of 2012 after the parliamentary election. The new Georgian Dream coalition controlled enough seats and overturned his veto as per constitutional rules, and more than half of all the country’s 24 000 prisoners were released.
Thursday parliament overturned two more of the president’s vetoes. One of them is a law about the constitutional court, which sets a 30-45 day time frame for the court to make a final decision. During this review phase, a law will not be in force.
If the court suspends the law, it will have 30 days to make a final decision and 15 additional days for decision making, but if the court still cannot make a decision, then the decision about suspending the law will be abolished on the 31st day. There were no such terms before, and review cases in the constitutional court tended to drag out in time.
But the president thinks that this amendment will restrict the powers of the constitutional court and harm the rights of different types of subjects. He suggested setting six months as term. Parliament did not agree with him and adopted the original version of the bill.
Another amendment was about the civil code of Georgia, which allows to transform non-commercial legal persons into public entities.
The president thinks this will pose a threat to the autonomy of universities and blocked it, but parliament did not share his opinion.