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A new stage of cohabitation?

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, February 12
A new stage of cohabitation might take place in the country. After the confrontation in front of the National Library in central Tbilisi on February 8, both the majority and minority are ready to collaborate. However, the process is still mired in sentiment that might disturb the process. A meeting between parliament chair, Davit Usupashvili; the former speaker and current leader of the UNM, Davit Bakradze; and the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, is scheduled for February 11. The main topics of the issue will be the president’s rights.

“A mini confrontation” via Facebook between the president and the prime minister revealed again that there exist two distinct ideas of cohabitation inside the country. Saakashvili then emphasized that “Ivanishvili changed his position concerning the annihilation of the United National Movement.” The response was followed by Ivanishvili’s commentary via Facebook again. The PM stated that Saakashvili continues his attempts to aggravate the GD and force them to abandon the coalition’s policy. Ivanishvili responded saying "I would like to state that it is absolutely untrue that I have ever urged anyone to annihilate the National Movement.”

Despite all this, Ivanishvili expressed his readiness to collaborate and introduced the topics the majority and minority should agree on and includes:

1.Launch the parliamentary procedures of voting on the constitutional amendments on the revocation of the president’s right to appoint a new government without the parliament’s consent;

2.Achieve inter-faction agreement on the priorities of the country’s foreign policy;

3.Establish the State Constitutional Commission which, in cooperation with foreign and Georgian experts, will develop drafts of other amendments to be made to the constitution, including an amendment to the preamble that may reflect the historic decision of the Georgian people in relation to Europe;

4. Create working groups promptly to address all important issues and coordinate positions.

Parliamentary speaker Usupashvili states that the restriction of the president’s rights will be the main topic for the collaboration. In the case a consensus is achieved on the issues, “space will be opened for solving other problematic issues."

The parliamentary speaker also explained that the draft on the restriction of the president’s rights and moving the parliament to Tbilisi are represented separately and will be voted on separately as well.

Usupashvili also reiterated: “the Georgian Dream has always been ready to collaborate. However, the UNM has created problems."

On their behalf, UNM members claim that from the second day after the elections the United National Movement has started talks on negotiations. However, the actions of the new government hastened the process. UNM MP Goka Gabashvili positively assessed the launching of negotiations and hoped that they will end with a desirable outcome.

Political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili stated that the president’s statement concerning cohabitation is not sincere, adding that the UNM still can not imagine Georgia’s future without their active participation.