The Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili has written to the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR asking for a joint urgent opinion on the proposed changes to the Election Code.
“Georgia has been implementing the European Union recommendations since July 2022, following the European Council’s decision to grant Georgia candidate status once the recommendations are implemented,” the letter reads.
In the letter, the Speaker highlights that the Georgian Parliament leads the process, with the participation of parliamentary political parties, relevant governmental bodies, and civil society representatives (via the Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, which comprises over 200 CSOs across Georgia).
“Parliamentary Working Groups, Parliamentary Committees, and Plenary are the three tiers of the process. The Legal Affairs Committee established the Parliamentary Working Group on Revising the Election Code, which included MPs from several parliamentary political parties, as well as representatives from the Central Election Commission, the State Audit Office, and civil society organizations. The Working Group amended Georgia’s Election Code to incorporate new efforts as well as prior recommendations from the OSCE/ODIHR, Venice Commission, and the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption authority – GRECO. The modifications were reviewed in the Legal Affairs Committee before being enacted by Parliament on first reading on October 5 with bipartisan support,” the letter reads.
The amendments are scheduled to be enacted on the third reading no later than December 13th, so, sending the clauses and conclusions of the Legal Affairs Committee attached, the Speaker of the Parliament requested the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR issue a joint urgent opinion on the proposed changes.
Georgia delivers on its promises regarding the EU recommendations and improvement of electoral legislation and practice – I have just sent the draft amendments on electoral reform to OSCE/ODIHR and Venice Commission for their joint urgent opinion. @osce_odihr @VeniceComm pic.twitter.com/LEPxZllon4
— Shalva Papuashvili 🇬🇪 (@shpapuashvili) October 10, 2022