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Bakradze meets with Ivanishvili

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 11
Analysts, journalists and politicians are speculating over a meeting that took place between Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and the leader of the oppositional United National Movement (UNM) at the PM’s Black Sea residence in Ureki. Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili, was also present at the meeting.

Various issues were touched on at the meeting, including several pressing political issues. For instance, the Georgian Dream coalition is vitally interested in introducing certain amendments to the state constitution which they cannot achieve unless the UNM supports them. Until only recently, the Georgian Dream had not been able to harness enough support in the parliament to exercise the constitutional majority.

It was also agreed that the UNM will stop boycotting the parliamentary sessions. In return, an agreement was reached where it was stated that there would be no court cases against the people financing the UNM before the Parliamentary Elections in October, 2012.

There is an opinion that in return for the support for the constitutional amendments, the UNM has guarantees that there would be no snap parliamentary elections which could radically change the configuration of the parliamentary membership. If snap elections are held, the UNM can hardly receive more than 10% of the votes.

The Georgian Dream wants three main constitutional changes as the priority: the first is to return the rule of receiving constitutional amendments with 2/3 of MPs; which is 100 votes. (As it is known after the Presidential elections in October, 2013, the constitutional amendments could be introduced only with three-fourths of the MPs.)

The second issue is to allow dual citizenship for the President, PM and the Parliamentary Chairman; while the third issue envisages reducing the rights and powers of the PM by simultaneously increasing the powers and the rights of the parliament. So, it looks like an agreement has been reached in this regard.

In return for these amendments, the Georgian Dream promised not to appoint snap elections. However, this deal caused the utmost irritation and discontent of many political parties who appeared to be outside the parliament as last year’s parliamentary elections. This effectively ensures the continuation of a two-party state– the Georgian Dream and the UNM.

So, many political parties outside the parliament now hope that the snap elections will bring them the desired seats in the parliament.

Some analysts suggest that the leaders of the Georgian Dream want to purposely maintain the UNM as the major opposition force. Some even suggest that there is a secret deal between the UNM and the Georgian Dream over this issue. Much depends on the results of the upcoming Presidential Elections.

The support of the presidential candidates will show the balance of forces in Georgian politics.