Georgia’s governing party, Georgian Dream, is using the commanding victory it won in last year’s parliamentary elections to push through a new constitution. The process, though, has become a target of controversy as critics complain that the party is sidelining any outside voices while drafting the new constitution.
More fundamentally, it is forcing the party – which came to power as a diverse coalition united only in opposition to the near decade of dominance by former president Mikheil Saakashvili and his United National Movement – to clarify what it actually stands for.
Shortly after its victory last November, the GD-led parliament set up a special commission tasked with writing a new constitution. The commission came up with a draft in May, which was passed in June on its first and second readings. A third and final reading is scheduled for September. If it passes, the new constitution will enter into force in 2018, although its various provisions will be phased in over several years.
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Joseph Larsen is an analyst at the Georgian Institute of Politics.