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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1069 2009-06-10 12:50 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

DE RUEHSI #1069/01 1611250
P 101250Z JUN 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001069 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/04/2019 
Classified By: Ambassador John Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
1.  (C)  Summary/Comment:  Speaker David Bakradze announced 
the creation of a Commission of Constitutional Reforms 
(Commission) June 3.  As announced, the Commission will have 
a diverse composition, including representatives from the 
government, all willing political parties, representatives 
from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as experts and 
academics.  President Saakashvili appointed Avtandil 
Demetrashvili, a former President of the Constitutional 
Court, as the Commission's chairman.  A timetable has not 
been established for submitting recommendations, but some are 
optimistic that the Commission's work could be completed by 
the end of the year or earlier.  Speaker Bakradze told the 
Ambassador that the Government had initially hoped that the 
non-parliamentary opposition would introduce the idea of the 
commission and be a part of it, but after weeks of waiting, 
the Government believed that it had to move forward.  Thus 
far, the non-parliamentary opposition has refused to 
participate in the Commission.  Nevertheless, with the 
announcement of the Commission and its makeup, the GoG seems 
poised to make good on its promise to continue its reform 
agenda with or without the participation of the 
non-parliamentary opposition.  Bakradze predicted that the 
entire process of amending the constitution could take at 
least a year, if not 18 months, and might include a 
plebiscite as part of the process.  End Summary/Comment. 
Commission Plans Announced 
2.  (U)  On June 3, 2009, Speaker David Bakradze announced 
the creation of the Commission of Constitutional reforms. The 
Commission will draw representatives from five key sectors: 
one representative from each of the political parties willing 
to join the Commission; a group of experts and academics; 
representatives from the Tbilisi-based Abkhaz 
government-in-exile, the provisional administration of South 
Ossetia and the Ajara Autonomous Republic; representatives 
from state institutions (including the President's office and 
Parliament); and representatives from NGO's.  Parliamentary 
opposition party, the Christian Democrats, nominated Avtandil 
Demetrashvili as the Commission's chairman, and he has been 
accepted.  CDM party leader Giorgi Targamadze told Poloff 
that he proposed Demetrashvili because he was politically 
unaffiliated and had no personal political agenda to pursue; 
was acceptable to virtually all political parties; and, 
having served as the President of the Constitutional Court 
from 1996-2001, was well-versed in general constitutional 
issues.  An exact timeframe for the Commission's work is not 
yet clear.  Targamadze commented that the Commission planned 
to table a draft of the Constitution before December 31, 2009. 
3.  (U)  The list of experts and academics was also released 
as a part of the June 3 announcement, and includes 25 
individuals: Levan Aleksidze, professor at Tbilisi State 
University (TSU); Davit Aprasidze, professor at Ilia 
Chavchavadze University; Zaza Bibilashvili, lawyer; Marina 
Garishvili, associated professor, lawyer; Gia Getsadze, legal 
expert; Vasil Gonashvili, legal expert; Tornike Gordadze, 
doctor of political sciences; Zurab Davitashvili, doctor of 
political sciences; Davit Dolidze, legal expert; Giorgi 
Kakhiani, assistant professor at TSU; Giorgi 
Kverenchkhiladze, assistant professor at TSU; Mzia 
Lekveishvili, professor at TSU; Malkhaz Matsaberidze, 
professor at TSU; former Minister of Education Professor Dr. 
Ghia Nodia, director of International School of Caucasus 
Studies; Alexander Rondeli, president of the Georgian 
QStudies; Alexander Rondeli, president of the Georgian 
Foundation for Strategic and International Studies; Zaza 
Rukhadze, legal expert; Iakob Putkaradze, professor of 
Constitutional law; Ketevan Kokrashvili, legal expert; Soso 
Tsintsadze, professor; Kakhi Kurashvili, doctor of law; Nana 
Chigladze, doctor of law; Vakhtang Khmaladze, expert in 
Constitutional law; Zurab Jibashvili, from TSU; Giorgi 
Khutsishvili, professor at University of Georgia; Zaza 
Namoradze, director of the Budapest Office of the Justice 
Initiative, overseeing programs on legal capacity development 
and legal aid reform. 
Non-Parliamentary Opposition Largely Quiet - Participation 
4.  (C)  During a June 10 meeting with visiting EUR A/S 
Gordon, Speaker Bakradze said that the Government had 
initially asked the leaders of the non-parliamentary 
opposition to propose the idea of the constitutional 
commission, and that the Government had been prepared to 
accept the idea and create it along the lines proposed by the 
non-parliamentary opposition.  According to Bakradze, the 
Government waited for several weeks for a response to the 
proposal, and then gave up on the non-parliamentary 
opposition and created it themselves.  At this point, none of 
the non-parliamentary leaders or parties have agreed to 
participate.  Only ex-Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli 
TBILISI 00001069  002 OF 002 
(Movement for Fair Georgia) has expressed a willingness to 
participate and co
mmenting on the timeframe, stated that it 
is possible to finish work on a draft by the end of the 
summer.  He qualified his party's potential involvement 
saying they would only join if the Commission is not used by 
the authorities as a tool for dragging out the reform process. 


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