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Margvelashvili: Indirect Presidential Election-Threat of Georgia’s Image

By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Monday, February 5
The President Giorgi Margvelashvili spoke about next presidential elections in his interview with Iberia TV. He stated that although constitution changed, the next President won’t be the last elected president of Georgia. "Even though the constitution has been changed, I do not think that the next president of Georgia will be the last elected president. The new amendments were not even approved when they already started discussions about additional changes in it. This is like to try to drive a car without an engine, which you have thrown away. This is a constant realizing of the disaster that they've done in 2017. Therefore, I believe that many things will change.”

On the question, if he is going to participate in the next presidential elections, he stated that he has not decided it yet. " I do not have decided it yet, because of following reasons: First, it is limited rights and second- the dynamics of the process... Despite being criticized for 4 years, because of use veto rights, this process was seen as the democracy in action, and for this image of Georgia, I was constantly paying the price for it. Now I wonder- Is it worth it ?! or Maybe one-party governance with the appointed president will be better? And then we'll see how the image of Georgia will change.” – Stated Margvelashvili in his interview. Functions and purposes of the President's Institute significantly differ between European states. In some countries, the head of the government is president, and in some cases, he/she has just a simple ceremonial function, therefore there are various systems of the presidential elections. The president which is elected by the population, using direct election system- has more legitimacy and therefore-more power, unlike the president, which is appointed by parliament. In some countries, there is no presidential institute at all. The ceremonial functions of the Head of the state is performed by the king or queen in the following countries in Europe: Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway.

Other European countries have either direct or indirect presidential elections. The countries with direct presidential election system are: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Many European countries have parliamentary systems of government and the head of the cabinet, and the leader of the majority is the prime minister. In most of these governments the president serves as a titular, or ceremonial, head of state, some of these countries are using indirect election system:

Latvia - The Latvian Parliament- Saeima votes for the president. To win the elections, candidate needs more than 50% of the votes. In case if none of the candidates gets more than 50% of the votes, the second round will be appointed.

Hungary - A presidential candidate needs the written nomination of at least one-fifth of the Members of Parliament (about 40 MPs). To elect the president in the first round of election a two-thirds majority of all MPs is required. If no candidate gathers needed votes, a second round will be held between the two candidates with the highest numbers of votes.

Greece - The President is elected for a five-year term by the Parliament in a special session. At the first and second rounds a supermajority of 200 out of the 300 is needed, but if none of candidates get necessary number of the votes, on the last -third round 180 votes is enough.

Estonia - The Riigikogu (Parliament) elects the president with the supermajority votes of two-thirds (68 votes out of 101). If no candidate received the required number of votes, the president will be selected by an electoral college consisting representatives of local governments and MPs.

Germany - The President is elected by the Federal Convention, an electoral body that consists of all members of the Bundestag and an equal number of electors, who are elected by the sixteen state parliaments. The procedure of the election consists of a maximum of three secret votes by written ballot. If one of the first two rounds ends with an absolute majority support for one of the candidates, this candidate is elected immediately. If the first two round do not lead to an absolute majority, at the third round 50%+1 vote will be sufficient.

Italy - The election is held in the form of a secret ballot, with the Senators, the Deputies and 58 regional representatives entitled to vote- 1009 voters totally. The two-thirds votes of majority is required to elect a President.

Chez Republic - From 1993 to 2013, Chez Republic was the country with indirect presidential election system. In 1993, Czech presidential election was held to elect the first President of independent Czech Republic. The first election was done indirectly by the members of the Czech Republic Parliament. Only in 11-12 January of 2013 the first direct presidential election in was held in Chez republic.