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Presidentís annual speech scheduled for March 18

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 11
Parliament Chair Davit Usupashvili stated that the Georgiaís president will give his annual state of the country address on March 18.

Usupashvili said that he would like to attend the address and that the date was chosen sensibly.

The announcement cools the controversy surrounding the presidentís speech. However, it is still unclear whether government members will attend the presidentís speech or not.

The format of the occasion is also unclear. The opposition demands that debates take place after the address.

The turmoil and speculation concerning the speech are related to the current Georgian constitution that deprives the president of a range of responsibilities that used to be part of the job description.

According to the legislation, the president addresses the public from parliament in February, at the opening of the spring session. Nevertheless, the tradition was disregarded and the event was postponed due to the busy schedule of the legislative body.

However, there is speculation that the actual motivation for delaying the address was because of football matches held in Turkey in which Georgian lawmakers were attending with their foreign colleagues.

While the minority demands debates with the president, several majority MPs claim that they have nothing to debate with Giorgi Margvelashvili and underscore that the president is no longer a main figure in the country.

The Prime Minister has already stressed that he did not intend to participate in the ďsymbolic event.Ē

The presidentís Parliamentary Secretary Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze emphasizes that the president is ready for a debate. When it comes to the content of the speech, he states that it will concern all foreign and domestic challenges.

It appears, the government presumably will refrain from attending the address and the majority will not accept the debates.

However, neither the absence of the cabinet, nor the debates will diminish the importance of the presidentís speech, who always offers reasonable and significant analyses.