By Messenger Staff
Friday, February 8During his press conference on February 5th Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili mentioned the term “presidential standard” while discussing the issue of Georgia’s next president. Ivanishvili did not name any particular person as the next possible president. However, he did say that Defense Secretary Irakli Alasania will not be Georgian Dream's presidential candidate.
According to the Prime Minister, Alasania does not meet presidential standards. Ivanishvili also explained that when he mentioned Vakhtang Khmaladze as his party's possible presidential candidate it was just a suggestion, not a concrete decision. This was simply the PM’s hint of the kind of presidential standard he meant. As for the real presidential candidate, this is still being discussed-Georgian Dream and the other parties won't announce their candidates for several months. The presidential election is scheduled for October of this year. Whoever they nominate the Georgian Dream candidate will have a distinct advantage over the other candidates.
Ivanishvili also mentioned that the duties of the Georgian president are subject to change soon if a proposed constitutional amendment is passed in Parliament in the next two weeks. Under the current constitution the President's powers are scheduled to be significantly reduced after the presidential elections later this year but if the proposed amendment is passed (which requires a 2/3 majority in Parliament) the Presidency of Georgia will become a largely ceremonial office immediately.
The PM supports the idea of a parliamentary model of government where the President has very limited power. According to the PM a young, energetic and strong person like Alasania would not fit this position because his potential should be used in different directions.
There is another option as well. Some members of the Georgian Dream coalition have suggested that the President should be elected not directly by the people but by Parliament. However, this suggestion has not been officially proposed in Parliament.