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Is the Georgian president’s influence rising?

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, November 7
President Giorgi Margvelashvili requested that the Georgian government discuss the effectiveness of the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and the NATO–Georgia Substantive Package at the nearest governmental meeting, which he would attend with the Secretary of the National Security Council (NSC) Irine Imerlishvili.

Margvelashvili also asked parliament to put his special address to the nation on the agenda of the nearest plenary session.

"We, Georgian politicians, are happy to serve the country with a very firm choice in its values. This is [our] European choice made not by any political power but by our ancestors," he said.

"It is a great honor to serve to this choice. Therefore, it is really impossible to change Georgia’s European course. But it is possible to ask a question about how effective the service is of each politician to the will of his nation. This question needs adequate answers,” stressed the president.

Imerlishvili said that president’s special address to the nation from within the Parliament session will focus on the details of the implementation of the Association Agreement and the NATO-Georgia Substantive Package.

Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality says that the president’s proposals have been discussed at the meeting with the government officials and the prime minister.

"Giorgi Margvelashvili shares the position that Georgia’s Western orientation is not in danger. The president's request must be taken into consideration and it will be definitely put on the agenda,” Zakareishvili said.

Lincoln Mitchell, the national political correspondent for the New York Observer stated that “suddenly, and unexpectedly, Margvelashvili is a very important player in events in Georgia currently. This is his moment to shine and he can do it. There could be a need for the president to appoint a new government soon,” Mitchell said.

Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze also believes that the president’s role will increase.

The analyst admits that after the current turmoil calms down in the country, a very interesting configuration will be revealed.

“Votes of Free Democrats (formed Defense Minister Irakli Alasania’s party that has 10 MPs in parliament) will become especially valuable for the coalition to have its initiatives’ confirmed. The Republican Party will enjoy more respect within the coalition, as they have not quit the coalition and there are no questions over the party’s definite western orientation. In the current situation it will be very difficult to overcome the president’s veto as well,” Lagazidze said, adding that the European course is not at risk, as the coalition will have to take Republicans’, Free Democrats’ and the president’s attitudes into account.