Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze says that the term of the next president, to be elected in 2018, might be extended by a year, in order to let the newly-elected parliament and local municipalities elect the President.
Next President’s term might be extended
By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 22
Kobakhidze’s comments came after his statement that proportional parliamentary elections will be introduced in 2024, instead of this year.
The Speaker says that the term of the next president expires in 2023, but as the proportional parliamentary elections will be held in 2024, the President’s term might be extended by a year, and instead of holding the position for 5 years, the next president might stay in the post for 6 years.
“We do not rule out that such changes will take place," said the Speaker.
Accordingly, if these amendments will be adopted by Parliament, the indirect elections of presidents will be introduced in 2024, after the proportional parliamentary elections.
Mamuka Mdinaradze, the Chair of the Georgian Dream (GD) faction said that there are several versions and it is not necessary to extend the term of the president.
“There can be many versions of the method, and we have to choose the best one,” he added.
Mdinaradze believes that in the next parliament there will not be a constitutional majority like there is now.
“It will be quite legitimate if Parliament, elected by a mixed system, elects the President in 2023,” he noted.
At present, the president is the head of state, supreme commander-in-chief, and holder of the highest office within the Government of Georgia.
Executive power is split between the President and the Prime Minister, who is the head of government.
The office was first introduced by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia on 14 April 1991, five days after Georgia's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.
The President serves a five-year term and is chosen by the citizens through direct voting. The current president Giorgi Margvelashvili was sworn in on 17 November 2013 and his term expires in 2018.
The GD party wanted to hold next elections through indirect voting, when the president is chosen by Parliament, but it was decided to delay the new rule until the term of the next president expires.