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Two parties demand Parliamentary republic

By Sopo Datishvili
Monday, March 23
New constitutional proposals by two parties, the Christian Democrats and Traditionalists, were uttered for the first time on March 20, at a joint press conference. They say that the only way out of the current political crisis is to change the system of Government from a Presidential to a Parliamentary republic.

Giorgi Targamadze from the Christian Democrats and Akaki Asatiani from the Traditionalists think that this can solve the problems Georgia has been facing recently. “The fact is that, today every family feels clearly this difficult situation in the country which worsens day by day. We, the Christian Democrats strongly believe that all political changes should be based on the change of the system itself,” said Giorgi Targamadze.

He responded to the non-Parliamentary opposition which often objects to the Christian Democrats ‘cooperating with the Government’ because they accepted their seats in Parliament after the last election, unlike many opposition parties. Targamadze said that he isn’t standing with those radicals because he doesn’t believe in revolutions in general. “Revolutions always bring negative results. For example the current Government came to power via revolution as well. So we don’t think that this is the time to conduct experiments again and hold revolutions. Moreover, I think the resources for changing the Saakashvili Government in a peaceful way don’t yet exist,” added Targamadze on the Position talk show on Rustavi 2.

On March 20 the Traditionalists also announced that they had joined the new Alliance for Freedom with the Women’s Party, Party of the Future and the Freedom Party. They said the main plans of the Alliance centred on the April 9 demonstrations. Leader of the Traditionalists Akaki Asatiani said that the more parties oppose the Government the better it will be for the country’s future, but he is interested in defining all the steps that will be taken after the regime is changed. “The question is what will happen after April 9. We should think about this as well, and I think that establishing a Parliamentary republic is a suitable solution to this problem,” he explained.

Another member of newly formed Alliance for Freedom, Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, said that Asatiani’s decision to also cooperate with the Christian Democrats was a surprise for him. He is still among those who will start their fight to change the Saakashvili regime on April 9, but pointed out that giving the people the exact date the regime will end is difficult.

Asatiani said that he is in favour of the Austrian model, in which the federal President and the legislative branch form a combination of the Presidential and Parliamentary system of governing and both are elected. Political expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze thinks that Asatiani is expressing his own position and not that of the Alliance for Freedom. The reason others don’t agree with him, he says, is perhaps because they feel that if a Parliamentary republic is established the National Movement will have a good chance of taking a majority of seats in the Parliament again, as this party is better organized and it has more experience of elections than the others. “As for the system itself, I don’t think we should seek the way out by suggesting such changes. Any regime can be maimed. The problem we face is that we have seen so many crises but have had only emotional answers to the question of what caused them,” Sakvarelidze said.

Giorgi Targamadze said that the Christian Democrats are going to hold consultations with different opposition parties over their new suggestion.