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President’s inauguration to be a modest event

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 7
The inauguration of the president-elect Giorgi Margevlashvili will be held on November 17. No precise details about the ceremony are available as of yet, but one thing is for sure – it should be much more modest than it was during the two inaugurations of Mikheil Saakashvili.

It will surely be less pompous, and less money will be spent; it will be much different from the previous similar events.

Some issues concerning the inauguration are stipulated by the state constitution and a presidential decree about the protocol events in Georgia. This decree was adopted in 2001 by then President Eduard Shevardnadze and later amended in 2003.

The decree envisages that the president’s inauguration should be held in the parliamentary building in Tbilisi and the adjacent property. On the day of the inauguration, the president should visit Mtatsminda Pantheon, and put a wreath on famous Georgian writer Ilia Chavchavadze’s grave, later the President should give a presidential oath.

President Mikheil Saakashvili did not obey these instructions and the Georgian Dream also looks like it is going to ignore it. However, the new president will not repeat Saakashvili’s inauguration habits.

According to Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, the Deputy Chairperson of the Inauguration Organizational Commission, on November 17, four events will take a place. The most important part of the president's oath-giving will take a place in the courtyard of the parliamentary building in Tbilisi.

According to Panjikidze, in some large European countries, inaugurations take place inside the parliament. However, this time there is no possibility to follow this rule in Tbilisi. Besides, the ruling administration will eventually move parliament from Kutaisi back to Tbilisi.

The second event will be the new president’s visit to the memorial of the fallen soldiers at Heroes’ Square. Here he will pay tribute to the memory of those who have sacrificed their lives for the independence and integrity of Georgia.

Most probably, a concert will be held at Rustaveli Theatre where famous Georgian singers, dancers and musicians will participate. There will be no demonstration military might and only infantry regiments will march during the ceremony.

The ceremony is scheduled to start at 1 pm and the concert will be held at 6 pm.

The costs of inauguration will be covered from the reserve fund of the government, because Saakashvili has completely exhausted all the money from the presidential fund. All the MPs will be invited to attend the inauguration ceremony, and former presidents, Eduard Shevardnadze and Mikheil Saakashvili are invited to attend the inauguration of the new president.

It is interesting that president Shevardnadze was not invited to any of the two inauguration ceremonies for President Saakashvili. This time Shevardnadze accepted the invitation, although his presence will depend on his health conditions. As for Saakashvili, he said he has not yet made a final decision. Some officials are against Saakashvili’s presence at the ceremony, for example, the head of parliamentary majority, Davit Saganelidzem, who stated that he might not go himself, as he does not want to stand next to Saakashvili.

There are some other details, which need attention as well. For instance, will the new president go to the church? Will Patriarch Ilia II attend the ceremony?