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Prospects for changing the Georgian Constitution...again

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 3
Georgian media and the political spectrum are intensively discussing Bidzina Ivanishvili’s November 1st press conference, yet a very significant phrase that he uttered seems to have escaped the notice of most. He said that one of the first steps he would take when he comes to power would be to change the Constitution. He did not elaborate on the issues or specify what kind of changes he would like to introduce; however he mentioned that the changes would be first endorsed by the Georgian population.

The Georgian Constitution was adopted in 1995 during Shevardnadze’s Presidency and amended regularly since the Rose Revolution. In July 2010 the last amendments were introduced and are to come into force in 2013. However if the 2012 Parliamentary elections are lost by the current ruling National Movement majority and if Ivanishvili’s creates a party that comes to power, these amendments are unlikely to come into force.

The subject was brought up by one of the members of Christian Democrats, Nika Laliashvili. According to him the last amendments into the Constitution exclude the usurpation of power by one person. According to the current Constitution the President has the right and possibility to become a unique ruler. Thus the return to the current Constitutional article could be dangerous and a step backwards, he says.

During his press conference Ivanishvili stated that after his victory the Parliament should start Saakashvili’s impeachment process--if the current President does not resign. Of course the issue of Parliamentary amendments or adopting new ones is a very controversial issue. If the current administration manages to win forthcoming elections everything will go according to the Rose administration's scenario—this means an absolute majority in the Parliament, Saakashvili as Prime Minister and an acceptable person as President (similar to the current Russian scenario).

However if Ivanishvili--or somebody promoted by him--comes to power, most probably a new draft Constitution will be elaborated and previously approved by the Georgian population.