The War of February-March, 1921 and the Constituent Assembly of Georgia

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university, Faculty of social and political sciences
The article deals with the concluding stage of activities of the Constituent Assembly of Georgia (1919-1921). Unfortunately, the stenography and other documents reflecting this stage of activities of the Constituent Assembly have not been discovered yet. The only source for this period is the newspaper materials and commemorations and recollections of those -days public figures. The Constituent Assembly had to adopt Constitution in the Spring of 1921 which would serve as a bases for the parliamentary elections. The new parliament had to be assembled on November 6, 1921, signalling the finalization of the activities of the Constituent Assembly; but the events had come in other way round. The attack of the Soviet Russia and its allies on the Democratic Republic of Georgia intervened in the peaceful activities of the Constituent Assembly. The country faced deadly events. From this period the two stages could be differentiated in the activities of the Constituent Assembly: law-making and organizational activities for the defence of the country under the conditions of the war. In spite of hard situation, the Constituent Assembly finalized the discussion of Constitution and adopted it on February 21, 1921, whereas on February 22 approved its French translation. With the adoption of constitution, the Constituent Assembly fulfilled its main task. The Constituent Assembly of Georgia rejected the idea of capitulation at the end of the war and according to the decree of March 1, 1921 the government and the presidium of the Constituent Assembly emigrated abroad endowed with special rights. They were tasked to wage war for the restoration of independence. The Constituent Assembly participated in the organizational activities of the defensive measure in many respects: a). At the sessions of the Constituent Assembly (15, 21, 28 February and March 17) and assemblies of its presidium the various issue related to the ongoing war were actively debated; b). The decrees of the Constituent Assembly condemned those forces which organized an attack on Georgia and the members of the Bolshevik „Revcom‟ were declared as outlaws; c). The Constituent Assembly adopted several statements addressed to the international society with a request of assistance on withstanding the aggression; d). The members of the Constituent Assembly visited the frontline to encourage citizens and warriors and to organize the defensive measures. If by the beginning of the war the Constituent Assembly had a joint spirit against the enemy, with the failures in the war several members of the Constituent Assembly, mainly representatives of the opposition fractions, decided to support the Soviet government with the hope that the Bolshevik regime would keep its promise to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. A portion of the members of the Constituent Assembly emigrated, whereas those who stayed in Georgia were repressed by the Soviet regime. With the adoption of the Constitution and with its struggle for the independence the Constituent Assembly created legal foundations for the restoration of the independence of Georgia.
Georgia, the Democratic Republic of Georgia, the Constituent Assembly of Georgia, the 1921 Constitution of Georgia