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Parliament can convene in September

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, August 21
Rumors appeared in Tbilisi that on September 10th the Parliamentary Bureau will hold a session. According to the Constitution the parliamentary autumn session is to be convened on the first Tuesday of September. Because of the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 1st parliament's activities are suspended and no sessions should be held. However there is increasing speculation about the purpose of this possible parliamentary bureau session.

What kinds of issues can be discussed without holding a plenary session? There is also the possibility that the Parliament will ask the President to allow an extraordinary plenary session. What reasons could be given for that? Parliament expressed its confidence in the new cabinet of ministers at the beginning of July when the new Prime Minister, Vano Merabishvili took office. According to one rumor Saakashvili will resign as President and lead the list of United National Movement (UNM) candidates, however more realistically Prime Minister Merabishvili will be the number one candidate on the United National Movement list. In this case he will have to resign from the post of Prime Minister and the parliament will be obliged to confirm the new head of the cabinet and the cabinet .So many think that would be the reason for the extraordinary parliamentary bureau meeting on September 10th.

As for President Saakashvili he will stay in his position until his term as President will expire at the end of 2013. So the scenario could be that Saakashvili completes his term as President and Saakashvili will run in one of the majoritarian districts from where the ruling party member would resign beforehand. As Christian Democrat Inga Grigolia suggests this could be the Tbilisi Gldani district; however she also said that she will do her best to frustrate the plans of the ruling majority by winning the majoritarian election there. According to Grigolia, Saakashvili wants to run for any district in Tbilisi as the majoritarian though he has no chance of winning in such districts as Vake or Mtatsminda.

It is the style of the ruling party that it does not reveal its plans beforehand and then makes a sudden announcement. The ruling party keeps repeating “It is essential for us to know where the country will be in 2013 rather than where we would be ourselves.” It is clear however that they cannot imagine themselves out of power. Therefore, they will do everything to retain power. One thing is certain as well: Saakashvili wants to be the winner by any means necessary. He wants to rule the country. Last year amendments were introduced in the Constitution granting more power and responsibilities to the Prime Minister than to the President. Presumably that was done with the possibility of Saakashvili becoming the Prime Minister, but the West opposed this possibility of Putinisation of the country. Therefore Saakashvili probably plans to become the Chairman of Parliament. So, Saakashvili will stay on as the President until the end of 2013 and then through the above-mentioned scenario will become a Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliament.

In all these guesses and speculations there is one precondition: that the United National Movement wins a majority in Parliament.

Note: later yesterday it became known that UNM party list will be led by Davit Bakradze whereas Vano Merabishvili will stay as a PM.