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Margvelashvili decides PM will sign Association Agreement with the EU

By Ana Robakidze
Wednesday, April 28
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili issued a decree on May 27th to assign his right to sign international agreements to Prime Minister Irakli Gharibasvhili. The PM will use the right only once in June, to sign the Association Agreement (AA) between Georgia and the European Union.

The constitution of Georgia allows a similar transfer of authority to happen, though the president and the prime minister will have to set up an official agreement.

The presidentís decision was voiced by his Parliamentary Secretary Davit Pertaia at a press conference. Pertaia explained that though the right to sign the AA belongs to the president, the government decided that the PM should sign the agreement. In order to avoid raising any questions over the legitimacy of the signing authority, Gharibashvili decided to delegate this right to the PM.

"We will send the presidentís order to the government, according to which the president assigns the authority to sign the AA to the prime minister. We hope that constitutional procedure on an agreement between the government and the president will be completed in the coming days," Pertaia said.

The presidentís decision was approved by the countryís political spectrum. Georgian MPs say Margvelashviliís decree is proof that the president and the government can collaborate smoothly.

Georgian Dream MP Viktor Dolidze believes it is of minor importance who signs the AA. He thinks it is more important that the presidentís administration and the cabinet are working together for the future implementation of the AA.

The presidentís decree was praised even by the parliamentary opposition. Sergo Ratiani, one of the MPs from the United National Movement, said it is obvious the president acts with a high sense of responsibility. However, Ratiani feels that Margvelashvili is fulfilling the PMís desires.

"The agreement is so important for Georgia that it is necessary for the process of signing it to be firm without any question and the historic document to enter into force firmly. Accordingly, we decided to remove questions and delegated the authority to the Prime Minister.Ē Margvelashvili explained his decision later, on May 27th.

Later that day PM Irakli Garibashvili, commenting about the presidentís decision mentioned that who would sign the agreement was stipulated by the State Constitution.