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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 4
Whose presidency is the new constitution preparing for?

Mteli Kvira writes that weakening the president's power and strengthening the rights of the PM and chair of parliament, according to the new constitution, will balance government institutions. With this background experts think that the next president of Georgia will be Davit Bakradze, while some claim it will be Irakli Alasania.

Political analyst Ramaz Klimiashvili believes Alasania will be the next president, although he says that this will not happen before 2013 (when Saakashvili’s term expires) but he also excludes Saakashvili’s continuing as president until then. “Theoretically this can be Alasania, however do not exclude Bakradze,” the expert says.

Another analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili avoids giving a definite prediction for the future president but says that there are several candidates from the government that could be being discussed.

Paata Zakareishvili, analyst names either Davit Bakradze or Levan Varshalomidze as Saakashvili’s successor. As for Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi Ugulava’s ambitions, expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze says, “Ugulava does not have the ambition to be president, but he has the ambition to be first,” adding that Bakradze will not have an opponent in the ruling party.

Georgia and Russia should start dialogue

Political analyst Mamuka Areshidze in his interview with Akhali Taoba talks about Georgian-Russian relations and states that the current situation in which those countries find themselves is an anachronism.

“It is very difficult for both Georgia and Russia to maintain such a situation and regime. By the way, one of the major reasons for French Foreign Minister Kouchner’s visit was to persuade our politicians that some sort of format should be set for negotiations between Russia and Georgia. I always say that it is necessary to create such a format without any particular preconditions and it should be carried out together with international monitors. Geneva talks do not fulfill this function,” Areshidze stated.

“Today there are several things happening that oblige Russia to make some corrections in its policy towards Georgia. For instance working out a customs union, according to which Russia will not block Georgian products entering its market. The next point is joining the World Trade Organization. Russia is trying to join the WTO in September. USA supports it, but if Georgia changes its mind regarding the issue it will lose an important lever over Russia, but it will export its products in Russian market, because WTO countries cannot block the importation of member countries products into their market,” Areshidze said.