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Will dialogue lead to results?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 13
On February 11, Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili visited Mikheil Saakashvili at the presidential palace. Leader of Parliamentary minority Davit Bakradze was also present. Analysts comment that the meeting yielded no visible results. All sides maintained their position regarding the issues at hand.

However, Usupashvili and Saakashvili agreed that the dialogue should be continued and no room should be reserved for confrontation. This meeting was the result of the physical confrontation that took place on February 8 in front of the National Library.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili condemned Friday’s confrontation, saying that his team is ready to accept the goodwill from the minority to cooperate. Expressing the readiness of his team, the PM said they will attentively consider the position of the United National Movement (UNM).

Saakashvili responded to Ivanishvili’s initiative by inviting Parliamentary Chairman Usupashvili and minority leader Bakradze to the presidential residence. Usupashvili mentioned that there is no need for endless dialogue and negotiations, and that it is necessary to come to decisions and agreements that will open the door to other topics.

“It is a simple and understandable issue that the president should not have the right to discharge the government. Agreement on this issue will give way to the settlement of other problems,” Usupashvili stated.

PM Ivanishvili mentioned earlier that negotiations should yield some specific results. Ivanishvili also suggested an agenda: to restrict the right of the president to create a new government without parliamentary approval; to create a bi-partisan document on the priorities of Georgia's foreign policy; to establish the state constitutional commission comprised of Georgian and foreign experts for introducing the various amendments to the constitution and to create a working group to help address current issues.

Neither of these points has been agreed upon during the first round of negotiations on Monday. Usupashvili asked Saakashvili to provide precise, yes or no answers regarding his right to appoint the new government.

However, the UNM made a counter proposal and laid out its conditions in return of these points. The parliament should remain in Kutaisi; Georgia’s foreign policy priorities should be fixed in the constitution and the president should be elected through direct countrywide elections.

Georgian Dream is ready to discuss these issues although it does not want to attach the UNM’s demands to its major claim to in order to restrict the president's the right of sole decision-making with regard to the government.

So the situation remains deadlocked. However, the Georgian Dream needs just around extra 5 votes to achieve the constitutional majority in the parliament and then things will be solved easier.