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Congress of Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, February 18
Speaking at the congress of his party– Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia on February 16, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili placed an emphasis on the country's important issues and called “sensible” the recent suggestion of the main opposition UNM party. Ivanishvili also underscored that there are some “traditions” that the new government will not encourage any more. During the congress, Ivanishvili was elected as an honorable chair of the GDDG party.

UNM members have suggested some norms of the new constitution of Georgia to come to power pre-term. Based on the new constitution that goes into effect in October of 2013, the Prime Minister becomes the main figure in the country.

“The UNM offered us a reasonable proposal to put several provisions of the constitution into effect immediately. I welcome any kind of reasonable proposal,” Ivanishvili stated.

However, Ivanishvili said that the Georgian constitution needs serious changing and that the Georgian people should play the major role in this direction.

“Such a constitution should be formed that will not be changed. Our party supports the model of the parliamentary republic. However, there are some parties within the coalition supporting the presidential republic. We will discuss the issue and a final decision will be made by our citizens,” Ivanishvili stated.

Ivanishvili also made a comment concerning the UNM’s demand that Georgia’s foreign course be reflected in the constitution. The PM underscored that the country’s foreign orientation has never been chosen by some concrete political group.

“The European path has always been the choice of the Georgian people. For us to achieve the historical aim and participation in NATO and the European Union, our government will do its best,” Ivanishvili said and especially thanked the US for its support.

“We will achieve these goals when there is a strong division between the ruling party and the government,” Ivanishvili said. The PM also suggested that all the disputes in the country will be settled in the frames of the law and forcible modes of achieving some aims will be punished through the law as well.

The PM reiterated that the UNM claims concerning an increase in the crime rate are rumors and that the amnesty should be discussed in the frames of the restoration of justice in the country.

Davit Bakradze, leader of the UNM parliamentary minority who is involved in talks with Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili, said that this proposal to enforce significant parts of the new constitution now would help defuse political tensions and pave the way for resolving other issues, including halting the arrest of officials from the previous government.

“I think it’s an extremely constructive proposal,” Bakradze stated.

“We believe that an agreement over this issue will significantly help to pave the way for resolving other issues important for calming the [political tension] in the country and within society, including helping put a stop to the wave of arrests and pressures [placed on opposition members of the government,]” Bakradze said.

UNM MP Davit Darchiadshvili states that the Georgian Dream has achieved nothing yet. The MP also could not see the signs of changing the “traditions.”

Political analyst Korneli Kakachia thinks that the president thought the situation might develop in an unprofitable way for him and that the coalition might collect a constitutional majority for changes in the constitution.

“That is why he made such a statement to display himself as a democratic and constructive leader beforehand,” Kakachia said. He also stated that writing down Georgia’s foreign course in the constitution is not very acceptable.

“However, if such a note assists normal relations of the opponents it is acceptable,” Kakachia said.

The analyst also underscored that the election of Ivanishvili as an honorable chair of the GDDG party indicates that Ivanishvili is planning to strengthen his own party.

“As for how Ivanishvili will manage to draw a sharp line between the government and the ruling party? Time will tell,” Kakachia stated.