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Political games and constitutional changes

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 6
The constitutional amendments submitted by the Georgian Dream coalition will be voted upon February 6, just two days before President Mikheil Saakashviliís appearance in the parliament with his annual report.

The January 6 vote will reveal the balance between the forces in parliament. Most analysts think that the Georgian Dream majority will not be able to consolidate enough votes to achieve a constitutional majority of 100 votes. So the amendments will probably not be adopted.

There are various scenarios in this regard: according to one option, if the constitutional changes are not adopted, Saakashvili will retain the right to dismiss the current Georgian government and Prime Minister.

So the MPs should think twice before taking such a decision, as either they will support stability in the country, or provide the possibility of creating civil confrontation. All the MPs participating in the vote need to take responsibility for these possible consequences.

At the last moment the issue of changing the location of Parliament was temporarily suspended from the agenda due to some technical reasons. However, the most important is the second issue concerning limiting the Presidentís powers to dismiss the government at any time.

On February 4, the parliamentary majority once again advised the United National Movement (UNM) to support the amendment. The Georgian Dream coalition has challenged the UNM leaders to organize public debates over the issue.

The UNM immediately responded to the coalition. UNM leader, Goka Gabashvili said they will not support the adoption of the constitutional amendments. He called the position of PM Bidzina Ivanishvili and his team intimidation and blackmail. Gabashvili also expressed his confidence that these amendments will not be adopted.

The UNM offered a deal to the Georgian Dream which envisages the adoption of a special law on maintaining Georgiaís pro-Western orientation in return for supporting the limitation of the presidentís power. Leader of the minority Davit Bakradze, also offered to increase the quorum of such possible amendments from 2/3 (100) to ? (113) votes. The Georgian Dream did not accept this offer and so, everything will be decided on Wednesday. It looks like the UNM is still uncertain about the results and it organised a briefing of Secretary General Vano Merabishvili who stated that the Georgian Dream is pretty far from accumulating the necessary 100 votes for passing the amendment. So February 6 is crucial and the vote will provide answers to many questions.