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Anticipating constitutional changes

By Messenger Staff
Monday, November 26
In his latest press conference with the Georgian media, Prime Minister Ivanishvili stated that he would not demand that the president resign in January 2013 when his term of five years expires, but rather he would facilitate the constitutional changes regarding the increase in the Prime Minister’s power, which initially had to be enforced after October 2013. However, this will require extra amendments to the constitution and presently, the victorious Georgian Dream do not exercise a constitutional majority in the parliament.

It looks like despite the wish of Georgia’s Western allies for both the President and Prime Minister to cooperate; this is not the case currently. Presumably, none of the sides is prepared for this. Moreover, there are suspicions about that Mikheil Saakashvili is preparing for the dispersal of Parliament as soon as the constitution allows him to do so and then appoint snap parliamentary elections and win them. Constitutionally he could do that however, there are many doubts as to whether he will be able to win the snap elections. On the contrary, many analysts believe that if the snap elections take place, the National Movement will receive even less votes than they did on October 1 (maybe even fewer than 20%.)

This way or another, this is the current situation and on November 22, Ivanishvili made the remark that he would like that Prime Minister receives the privileges which were envisaged in the constitution but only after October 2013.

However, this again will require a special parliamentary decision which should be supported by the constitutional majority and this is 100 votes out of 150. So far, the Georgian Dream majority has 83 mandates in the parliament. Six majoritarians from the UNM departed and created a faction and presumably will vote for the Georgian Dream, but still this leaves the Georgian Dream with only 89 votes. Ivanishvili voiced that his coalition will have more than the necessary amount of votes. However, it is not clear right now how this can be achieved. Maybe the current administration is carrying out a special policy to attract UNM members into the coalition.

With regard to the constitution, it should be mentioned that many members of the Georgian Dream coalition think that there are multiple amendments to be made in the constitution. Among other items there is a serious decision that needs to be made about returning the Parliament to Tbilisi. There are also many other radically important amendments that should be made in the constitution as well. There are various modifications needed to finalize Georgia’s statehood arrangements. So far, the country is moving towards the classical parliamentary republic system. Until recently however, Georgia was and is a Presidential Republic.

So, There are many headaches for the Georgian Dream politicians, but major goal is to achieve a constitutional majority in the parliament.