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New president and new system take form

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, November 19
New President Giorgi Margvelashvili signed his first presidential decree after his inauguration on Sunday, formally authorizing the incumbent ministers, including Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, to carry out their duties before the new cabinet receives parliament’s approval.

Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili said that hearings in parliamentary committees on prime ministerial candidacy and the cabinet will start on November 19.

Georgian Dream MP Irakli Sesiashvili stated that the Parliament will supposedly approve the new Prime Minister and the cabinet of ministers on November 20.

Member of the parliamentary majority Irine Imerlishvili emphasized that the country has already become a parliamentary republic. “I hope that the parliamentary ruling mode will provide more benefits for the country than the strong presidential system we had previously,” Imerlishvili stated.

After the approval of the new Prime Minister and the government, the country will actually move to the new political situation where the president will not enjoy the power he had in past years. Most of the real power will be concentrated in the hands of the PM.

What does the presidential control under the new constitution?

“The president enjoys the role of being the peaceful arbiter,” constitutionalist Avtandil Demetrashvili stressed.

He also underscored that the country has moved to a new, mixed ruling system, where the parliament’s role is higher than the president’s.

“Until the inauguration, the president had a decisive role and function in the country. He had a crucial role in forming the state. Now the president will no longer have the right to dismiss or appoint government members, he will not have legislative functions, he will be unable to order the parliament to snap out an issue,” Demetrashvili stated.

“He has a veto right and can make some influence on the parliament. He can pardon, grant citizenship, awards and and appoint elections,” Demetrashvili stated, adding that France and Poland have this kind of mixed system in Europe.

Head of Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) Kakha Kozhoridze states that:

“We were partially a presidential republic, now we have made a step towards the parliamentary ruling mode. The president has essential rights. However, almost all the serious presidential decisions require governmental support. Thus, he cannot carry out his main obligations individually,” Kozhoridze stated.