25 Sep 2017 16:12

Georgian president refuses to convene parliament to approve new Constitution

TBILISI. Sept 25 (Interfax) - Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has declined parliamentarians' request to schedule an extraordinary parliament session this week to hold a third reading of the bill on changes to the Constitution, the Georgian president's secretary Anna Dolidze said.

"The president's decision is not to schedule an extraordinary parliament session, as the draft constitution has a lot of flaws and is not a consensus document," Dolidze told a briefing on Monday.

The president believes that the work on the draft constitution took place too fast and the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe were not taken into account in the document, she said.

"As a result, we get a one-party document that cannot ensure on an elementary level a balance of the branches of power," Dolidze said.

She said the president's refusal to call an extraordinary session can be overridden by the parliament, which can call a session by the speaker's decision.

Parliament Speaker Irakly Kobakhidze told reporters on Monday that the parliamentarians will begin the third reading of the bill on changes to the constitution on Tuesday.

"We are adopting a very good constitution, which has received a positive evaluation from the Venice Commission," Kobakhidze said.