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Georgian constitution may suggest special status to Abkhazia, South Ossetia

As the State Constitutional Commission of Georgia commences its work, Zakharia Kutsnashvili, an MP representing Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia ruling party, suggests including a note in the constitution saying the former autonomies of the Georgian SSR, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, will have a special status as part of the united Georgia.

“Since it is important to restore the territorial integrity of Georgia through peaceful means, it would be right and timely to provide a special status to our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers. If our friends accept the special status, which will take time, probably, we should define that special status at a negotiating table… We must make a brave step and get that message across Abkhazia and South Ossetia offering them a special status as part of the united Georgian state,” Kutsnashvili told reporters.

In his words, several lawyers of the Task Force for Administrative and Territorial Division and Local Self-Government of the State Constitutional Commission of Georgia share his views.

All the previous editions of the Georgian constitution contain a note on the autonomy status of the Abkhazian and South Ossetian republics recognized by Russia.

“Today, the issue of the special status for Abkhazia and South Ossetia was raised. A group of the commission members representing the government urged support to the special status for Abkhazia and South Ossetia to make it possible further constitutional treaty between the subject representing Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the remaining part of the country,” Dmitry Lortkipanidze, a representative of Democratic Movement opposition party told Sputnik.

As EADaily reported earlier, winning the parliamentary elections of 2016, the ruling party of Georgia, Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia, suggested amendments to the Constitution, which, as they claim, will ensure balance of power between the president and the government and will amend the election system of the country. The State Constitutional Commission commenced work in late December 2016. It comprises four task groups for human rights, administrative and territorial structure and local self-government, parliament and finance, and for president, government and defense affairs. The Commission comprises 73 people representing the power branches, opposition, experts and representatives of NGOs. The Commission is chaired by Irakli Kobakhidze, Parliament Speaker, constitutionalist. The coordinated package of amendments will be made public by April 30.

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