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President shouldn’t be elected by people

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, September 14
Parliament Speaker and the leader of the Republicans, Davit Usupashvili, believes that when there is parliamentary governance in the country, the president should not be elected directly by the people.

“We have been saying from the very beginning that a directly elected president would not be good for this country. We have now seen that it is not good,” Usupashvili stated.

Usupashvili made this statement in response to the former Prime Minister and founder of the ruling party Georgian Dream (GD) Bidzina Ivanishvili, who stated that the Constitutional Commission was to change the rules of the presidential elections, but the Republicans did not allow that to happen.

The Speaker believes that when Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, was “a good guy” for Ivanishvili, he was saying the President should be elected by the people, but when he disliked Margvelashvili, he changed his mind about the issue.

“The Republican Party had a very strong position before the previous presidential elections, that the president was to be elected indirectly,” said Usupashvili, and added that in 2013, a member of the Republicans, Vakhtang Khmaladze, voiced this position, but his remarks were condemned by Ivanishvili.

According to Ivanishvili, the Georgian Dream coalition had one position that the President should not be elected directly by the public.

“We had discussions about this with the Republicans too, but Davit Usupashvili, who is the Chair of the Constitutional Commission, did not do anything,” said the ex-PM.

Ivanishvili explained that according to the constitutions of parliamentary republics, the president is elected by parliament.

“The public election of a president with such limited power causes confusion; President Giorgi Margvelashvili is also confused,” said Ivanishvili.

The Republicans were the second largest faction in the Georgian Dream coalition which governed the country since 2012. The party announced in late March that it planned to withdraw officially from the Georgian Dream before the October parliamentary elections and run independently.