DECREE ISSUED BY THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA on Decree   “Organization and Holding the Referendum on Preservation of the USSR” issued by the Supreme Council of the USSR

Georgian nation has exercised the self-identification through establishment of the statehood of Georgia at least 2500 years ago and since then constantly protected it in the wars.

In 19th century the Russian Empire exercised occupation-annexation of Georgia’s princedoms, and in 1921 the RSFSR practically again occupied and annexed the Democratic Republic of Georgia. In the course of the 20th century, through elections in 1919 and 1990, the Georgian nation have twice expressed its sovereign will to have independent statehood - therefore, there are no legal ground, whatsoever, for holding the referendum on preservation of the USSR.

At the same time, a question to be posed by the referendum is rather vague and it is not clear what does the renewed federation of the Soviet Socialist Republics amount to. At the same time, it is not possible to create a federation of sovereign states. The USSR law on referendum violates the sovereignty of the Republic of Georgia, since if the referendum is to be held, the destiny of the Republic would be decided not by its own citizens, but by the population of “Union Republics” of the USSR.

Taking into consideration the existing difficult political situation, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia Decrees:

1. The referendum, to be held on 17 March 1991 by the virtue of decree of the Supreme Council of the USSR shall not take place on the territory of the Republic of Georgia.

2. In accordance with the law of the Republic of Georgia on Referendum, on 31 March 1991 referendum shall take place on restoration of state independence, and only one question shall be posed “do you agree on restoration of Georgia’s State Sovereignty based on the Act of Independence of 26 May 1918”.

Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia Z. Gamsakhurdia

28 February 1991

(Bulletin of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia, 1991, # 2, p.104-105)