Will Georgian President's powers be limited?

Will Georgian President's powers be limited?

Georgia's President's Advisor Pikria Chikhradze commented rumors about amendments to the Constitution which will reduce presidential powers. She believes that this issue appeared on the agenda because of differences in the views of the current President Georgi Margvelashvili and the ruling party 'Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia'.

Shortly before the second round of parliamentary elections the Georgian Dream started discussing the planned changes to the Constitution, including the abolition of the direct election of a president and limitation of his powers.

"If Margvelashvili was a president unconditionally implementing orders of the ruling party leaders, this issue would not appear on the agenda," Chikhradze noted. "Constitutional changes must not be carried out because someone is irritated," Sputnik-Georgia cited her as saying.

Georgia's President's Advisor noted that the constitutional changes are necessary to ensure a balance between the branches of government, and not for its deterioration.

The main opposition party 'United National Movement' (UNM) have no doubt that the Georgian Dream will make changes to the Constitution and try to reduce the powers of a president.

"They just know that they are going to lose in 2018. Therefore, they do everything to prevent holding of the presidential elections in Georgia." one of the UNM leaders Sergo Ratiani said.
The Georgian Dream said that talks about possible changes to the Constitution is speculation.

The Executive Secretary of the party, Irakli Kobakhidze, noted that the amendments to the Constitution will be made only if a broad consensus is reached on this issue  - not only within the ruling party, but also among the opposition.

At the same time the creator of the Georgian Dream, a politician and businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili said earlier that George Margvelashvili's nomination for a president of Georgia was his biggest mistake.

A Political scientist and the president of the Club of Independent Experts, Josef Tsiskarishvili, told Vestnik Kavkaza that after adoption of such amendments to the Constitution it will be easier for Bidzina Ivanishvili to bring one of his favorites for the post of the head of state.

"A minimum of 2/3 of the new Georgian Parliament has been privatized by Mr. Ivanishvili, who made no secret of his antagonism to the president. But the ruling party may have certain interests, and if its leaders are able to "privatize" the president, the presidential palace also can be given to Ivanishvili," Josef Tsiskarishvili said.

Answering the question whether the consensus between the ruling party and the opposition is possible on this issue, the president of the Club of Independent Experts was categorical. "No, of course not. The two parties, which passed to the Parliament except for the Georgian Dream, will not do it. But the problem is that no one will ask their opinion. The current Constitution is Mr. Saakashvili's testament. He adjusted all the chapters of the Basic law for himself, preparing to take the post of prime minister. But they want to change and cut even the current version of the Constitution. It is not entirely clear what exactly can be cut, but the who is not with us is our enemy - this is an idea of the Georgian Dream leade," Joseph Tsiskarishvili concluded.

The head of the Center for Global Studies, Nana Devdariani, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the president's authority are already very limited.

"Of course, in a normal situation, when a president has so little authority, he is usually elected by the parliament. But then it becomes a political speculation: they are constantly trying to make people think that Ivanishvili is dissatisfied with his candidate, because he is going to make elections indirect. In this case holding the presidential elections in the parliament means a completely controlled president," the expert said.

The political scientist believes that the ruling party will agree to make constitutional amendments, but they will lobby only the abolition of the direct election of a president.

"His powers have already been limited very much. The only question is who will elect a president. But the fact is that the 'National Movement' will not vote for this, therefore, there will be no consensus. The Georgian Dream will be forced to use its constitutional majority," Nana Devdariani concluded.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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