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The president: controversies and revoked rights

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 18
President Giorgi Margvelashvili might be revoked from the right of granting the Rustaveli and other National awards.

The Ministry of Culture has initiated the right to be delegated to the Prime Minister. The initiative should have been discussed at the government session on July 17.However, the issue has been postponed.

According to Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, the government refrained from discussing the topic as “it still requires consideration.”

Owing to the changes to the constitution, the president has already been deprived of various rights. According to the recent decision made by the current administration, President Giorgi Margvelashvili will not be able to sign the Association Agreement. Despite the fact the president made an official statement in terms of conceding the right, there is speculation that there is controversy between the president and the prime minister. Both of them were introduced to politics by the founder of the Georgian Dream Bidzina Ivanishvili. However, Margvelashvili received criticism from the former PM when he took the office, unlike Gharibashvili. There were two main reasons cited by Ivanishvili on why his attitude has changed towards Margvealshvili. One was related to the Presidential Palace (Ivanishvili thought that Margevalshvili should not have used the building, as initially Margevlashvili stated that he would not live in it), and the second was regarding Vano Machavariani, the president’s friend and advisor on foreign policy. Machavariani is the brother of the UNM’s Mikheil Machavariani. Several days ago Machavariani resigned. He stressed that Margvelashvili appealed to him to take the step.

Analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili calls the developments concerning the government and the president “shameful”. According to him, the country has a very intellectual and wise president and is not encouraged by the government.

“It remains unclear why a person who built an important asset for the country (meaning Ivanishvili), tries to sow unrest within the coalition. The prime minister has many obligations; there is no need for additional ones,” Tstiskarishvili told The Messenger. The analyst stressed that “naming a presidential candidate does not mean that he should obey you in the future.” He emphasized that the current unacceptable attitude towards the president might lead the coalition to clan-style ruling. “If the country has clans in power and not a team, the situation will not bring any positive things for the country. Very soon, the public will strictly demand from Ivanishvili and the coalition to move their hands away from the elected president,” Tsiskarishvili suggests. The analyst believes that Margvelashvili will never become an ally of the United National Movement, owing to his perception and values.

Analyst Vazha Beridze told The Messenger that he could see some controversy between the president and the government. “However, such controversy is positive, it means that there are different options in the coalition,” Beridze says. He believes that the premier minister’s rights should be increased more and the president should have just a symbolic role.

“The presidential ruling system did not bring benefits to the country. We should try a parliamentary model now,” Beridze said.