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Friday, 15 October 2010

Georgia: Experts Give Final Opinion On Constitutional Reform

At the request of the Georgian authorities, the Council of Europe's Venice Commission has delivered its view on the country's reform process.

The reform is intended to move Georgia from a strong presidential system to one in which the President is a more neutral figure and the executive is headed by a government responsible to parliament. The reform is supposed to provide for adequate checks and balances.


Conclusions

The constitutional reform places executive power is in the hands of the government which is accountable to the parliament. The President loses his role of leader of foreign and domestic policy and becomes [primarily] a guarantor of the continuity and national independence of the state and of the functioning of the democratic institutions.

His role is that of a neutral arbitrator between the state institutions. The proposed constitutional amendments provide for several important improvements and significant steps in the right direction, which the Venice Commission welcomes.

The Commission considers nevertheless that it would be desirable to further strengthen the powers of parliament. In this respect, the provisions on the formation of the government and especially those on the motion of non-confidence, as well as those about the parliament's powers in budget matters, should be reconsidered.

Venice Commission

Georgia, the Venice Commission and Hillary Clinton

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