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Constitutional deadlock

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 23
On September 20, The Georgian parliament unanimously adopted several amendments restricting some presidential powers. However, the parliamentary ruling coalition does not have a constitutional majority, therefore, some of the proposed amendments are unlikely to be passed.

In the constitutional model, which was adopted in 2010 and which would come to force after the presidential elections on October 27th, the future Prime Minister was granted with almost all the powers the current president has. Everybody understood that this had been done deliberately so that President Saakashvili would become Prime Minister Saakashvili and would enjoy similar rights and powers. However, the October 1, 2012 defeat in the parliamentary elections, reshuffled the situation. Saakashvili and his team lost and now the new PM would have exercised all the benefits granted to this position.

Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the victorious Georgian Dream Coalition, became the PM. He is a moderate, democratically-oriented personality who embraces common sense. He is leading the country very carefully. Now he wants to resign and of course, the new PM has to be selected. So far no candidates have been officially announced. However, the candidate's name will become known soon. Therefore, there is the necessity to diminish and cut some crucially important powers and rights of the PM.

The United National Movement (UNM) leaders support cutting all the rights and powers of the future PM, thus increasing the rights and the powers of the parliament. Therefore, the process of decreasing the PMs rights and powers has started. However, the parliamentary minority is trying to manipulate the situation.

The opposition knows that the ruling party cannot make changes in the constitution without their support and thus it starts bargaining and blackmailing so that the ruling power cannot adopt the necessary amendments to the constitution. Besides, according to the legislation, one month prior to the presidential election, the parliamentary sittings will be stopped. As parliamentary chairperson David Usufashvili has stated, the sessions will not be held after October 4th. That creates problems because after the elections, the amendments of 2010 will automatically come into force. There are several crucial issues, which might remain untouched. For instance the location of the parliament, granting high positions to persons with dual citizenship and the proportion of the quorum adopting constitutional changes. This will create extra problems for the parliament. It looks like the only solution will be holding new parliamentary elections after the new president is elected.