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President Margvelashvili Vetoes “Local Self-Government Code" and "Election Code"

The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has vetoed the “Local Self-Government Code” and the “Election Code”. Motivated remarks of the President will be sent to the Parliament tomorrow.
In the President's view, the spirit of both of these laws hinders the country’s democratic process, weakens pluralism and reduces public involvement in the functioning of the state. According to President Margvelashvili, the accelerated adoption of these laws is also unacceptable.
The President has stated that all international partners of Georgia have been calling on the Government not to adopt any legislative amendments, concerning the electoral environment, in the election year.  In this case, both of these laws apply to the electoral environment and are adopted 3 months prior the elections. The President has expressed hope that the Parliament will take into account his motivated remarks, especially considering the fact that they are based on the positions of the civil society and political parties. 
"I believe that the ruling party should listen more carefully to different opinions and reflect them in the political decisions”, - stated President Margvelashvili.
The veto of the President refers to the “Local Self-Government Code”, which implies abolition of the status of self-governing cities to 7 cities – Telavi, Ozurgeti, Zugdidi, Gori, Ambrolauri, Mtskheta and Akhaltsikhe.
“These cities were granted the status of self-governing cities in 2014, as a part of the Georgian Dream's reform, which implied granting this status to 7 cities at the initial stage. It was planned to further deepen this process. Granting this status was assessed very positively by the Georgian society and the country’s international partners and currently, it is absolutely unacceptable to reverse this process. Abolition of the status of self-governing cities to 7 cities hinders the development of the country’s self-governance.
While self-governance is the only democratic mechanism, which ensures effective rule of the Government and local governments by the order of the voters. There is no effective mechanism which will better serve the state and society. Instead, this process should have been further deepened”, - stated President Margvelashvili.
Remarks related to the “Election Code” refer to the activities of the Central Election Commission.
“According to the amendments to the code, on the one hand, the ruling party will have more members and more opportunities in the CEC, but on the other hand, results of the self-government elections will not affect the composition of the CEC. This weakens the importance of self-government elections and decreases confidence in the election administration.
Political pluralism should be strengthened in electoral structures in order our society's confidence in the efficiency and fairness of these structures to be increased”, - stated President Margvelashvili.
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