Joint NGO appeal to the President of Georgia
On December 28, 2011, the Georgian Parliament introduced unconstitutional amendments to the Georgian Organic Law on political Unions of Citizens.On December 28, 2011, the Georgian Parliament introduced unconstitutional amendments to the Georgian Organic Law on political Unions of Citizens. Under the changes, political unions as well as legal entities directly or indirectly related to a political party, or otherwise under its control, or having express political goals and objectives, are deemed responsible within 3 days from the day the law enters into force to return donations received from legal entities prior to the enactment of the law, failing which the sums will be transferred into public ownership. The above regulation contradicts article 42 of the Georgian Constitution which states that “no one shall be held responsible on account of an action which did not constitute a criminal offence at the time it was committed. The law that neither mitigates nor abolishes responsibility shall have no retroactive force”. Article 24 of the Law on Normative Acts under which “A normative act that determines or aggravates responsibility shall have no retroactive force” is also violated.In violation of the requirements of the constitution, the adopted law establishes responsibility for an action which did not constitute a criminal offence at the time when it was committed. Also, it gives retroactive force to the regulation that determines responsibility for a past action.Similarly, the non-governmental organization consider unconstitutional article 26 of the Organic Law on Political Union of Citizens which, in essence, poses restrictions on the right of the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution. At the same time, the amendments enacted into the Criminal Code are totally unacceptable for us, since they establish utterly imprudent and disproportionate sanctions on the voters who address entities acting with political interests with requests of receiving services or material valuables or receive such services from them. The non-governmental organizations appeal to President Mikheil Saakashvili with the request to prevent the violation of this essential principle guaranteed by the Georgian Constitution and declared by the International Law, and to use the constitutional mechanism at his disposal and send the draft laws submitted for signing into law back to the Parliament with relevant reasoned comments.