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Parliament to speed-up activities

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 5
On September 3, Georgian Parliament kicked-off its regular autumn sessions. The terms of the sessions will be short, as according to the state constitution just one month prior to the presidential elections the legislative body must stop its activities. However, there are many important issues yet to be discussed and decided. First is the adoption of the necessary constitutional amendments and the debates over the 2014 state budget. Both these issues will considerably influence the situation during the upcoming presidential elections.

According to the legislation, the draft of next yearís state budget should be submitted on October 1. After, the debates should start, and by the end of this year, the state budget for 2014 should be adopted. Because of the presidential elections the parliament will have to work quickly.

There are some important amendments to be made to the state constitution as well. First of all there is an initiative which will remove the location of the Georgian parliament from the constitution. This amendment should facilitate the return of the parliament building from Kutaisi to Tbilisi. The former ruling United National Movement (UNM) is against of this.

Another initiative concerns the amendment to the state constitution which would limit the rights and powers of the Prime Minister, which according to the current constitution, will be widely available to exercise after the presidential elections.

The Georgian population and analysts remember well that President Mikheil Saakashvili introduced the amendment to the constitution which will give the right to enjoy practically unlimited powers and rights after he would have become the PM after resignation form the presidentís post. Everybody knew his plans to move into the PMís chair after the expiration of his term. The Georgian Dream coalition wants to limit the rights and powers of PM and thus create a better balance of power in the country.

There are some other amendments as well which are targeted at improvement of the democratic development of the country. So far the coalition does not have enough votes to receive the constitutional majority in the parliament. However, the party is optimistic and hopes to receive the desired number of supporting MPs by the time the voting takes place.

Although PM Ivanishvili tries to calm his team members after he disclosed his decision to quit politics, the population is still confused and uncertain what the future holds.