Accessibility links

Breaking News

Georgian President Vetoes Constitutional Amendments

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has vetoed amendments to the constitution that would shift the government to a parliamentary-style system, with the president elected by lawmakers.

Parliament, which is dominated by the Georgian Dream Party, adopted the changes last week despite objections from Margvelashvili and the opposition.

In a televised statement on October 9, Margvelashvili said he remained in favor of direct presidential elections.

Margvelashvili also said he supported scrapping the voting "bonus" system under which votes of parties that failed to secure enough support to enter parliament would be transferred to the winner of the election.

Lawmakers from the Georgian Dream said that they were willing to compromise on two of the president's objections -- allowing the parties to form electoral blocs and scrapping the voting bonus system.

The draft constitutional amendments now go back to parliament, where the ruling party has a constitutional majority, allowing it to overcome the president’s veto.

The changes also include a measure to legalize the purchase of land by foreigners.

Georgia will hold its next presidential election in 2018. Margvelashvili has not stated whether he will run.

Based on reporting by Reuters and

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.