Passing of Constitutional Amendments with the First Reading Commendable, Important to Implement March 8 Agreement Fully
On June 21, the Parliament of Georgia passed the constitutional amendments in the first reading, with 136 MPs voting in favor and 5 against. We welcome this decision of the Parliament of Georgia, which was made possible with support of the ruling party, as well as opposition parties and majority of independent MPs. Improving the electoral system ahead of the 2020 elections is crucial for stable and democratic political environment in the country, and in current reality, approval of the amendments was the only right decision in the interest of the country.
Passage of the constitutional amendments in the first reading is an important step made toward implementation of the March 8 agreement, which in addition to the electoral system also foresees resolving the issue of inappropriate politicization of Georgia’s judicial environment and its use against political opponents. The last week’s statement by the international facilitators of the political dialogue clearly indicates that this part of the agreement has not yet been implemented.
We urge the ruling party and the authorities to ensure full implementation of the March 8 agreement, in order to prevent any perceptions about use of justice for political retribution in Georgia and to ensure adoption of the constitutional amendments for changing the parliamentary electoral system in a timely manner and without any obstacles.
Since implementation of the March 8 agreement and adoption of the constitutional amendments are crucial for improving stability, fairness and democracy of electoral environment in Georgia, we hope that all political parties will take their share of responsibility for implementation of the March 8 agreement and take reasonable steps for timely approval of the constitutional amendments in all three readings.
The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
Partnership for Human Rights (PHR)
Human Rights Center (HRC)
Transparency International – Georgia (TIG)