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Parliament Overrides Two Presidential Vetoes


Civil Georgia

Parliament overturned on May 30 presidential vetoes on two bills – one related shortening of deadline for the Constitutional Court to deliver a verdict into those applications, which cause suspension of validity of a disputed legislative act and another one related to possible change of legal status to state universities.

Parliament overturned veto on constitutional court-related bill with 94 votes to 24. Three-fifth majority of sitting lawmakers, that is 90 votes, is required for overriding a presidential veto.

According to the bill if the Constitutional Court decides as an interim measure to suspend enforcement of a disputed legislative act, the court will have 30 days for consideration and for delivering its final verdict; in “special cases” Constitutional Court will have the right to extend the deadline for 15 more days; so in total the court can have maximum of 45 days.
In its objections, the President was offering imposing a six-month deadline with a possibility of extending it by one more month.

According to the existing rules, consideration of a lawsuit by the Constitutional Court may take maximum 11 months and according to current regulations, enforcement of a disputed legislative act may also be suspended for that period before the court delivers its final verdict.
A group of civil society organizations said in April that setting of 30-day timeframe was overly short period for proper consideration. The Constitutional Court also said that timeframe should be “reasonable”.
Another bill on which presidential veto was overturned on May 30 with 92 votes to 22 is related to allowing non-commercial legal entities of private law to change their status into entities of public law. Opponents say that this amendment to the civil code was done with a goal to change the legal status of state universities, which will lead to limiting their autonomy. President was offering in his objections to allow change of legal status only with consent of governing bodies of such entities.

GD lawmaker, Nino Goguadze, said during the debates on May 30 that possible change of status had nothing to do with universities' autonomy and GD was planning separate bill, which would provide full guarantees for academic independence of high educational institutions.

The two bills will now again be sent to the President for signature and if the latter refuses to the sign it within seven working days, the Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili will be authorized to sign them into laws.
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