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Advanced Illness of Georgian authorities2010-07-29 18:01
A treacherous assault on South Ossetia, murder of the Russian peacekeepers, total failure of the military adventure, economic collapse, lack of any stable export market, outflow of hundreds of thousands of Georgians from motherland is the luggage that not only eliminates any third-term ambitions but can lead to early resignation from the presidential post. But this is not Saakashvili's style. What has to be done to preserve power? Work hard? Create jobs? Consolidate civil society? It needs real effort - not the scandalous past.
The solution has been found - to change the Constitution. This will give Saakashvili power and legitimacy. So said - so done. The state constitution committee established a year ago on the president of Georgia's decree has adopted a new constitution draft. If the document is approved by the parliament the president's major functions will be given to Prime Minister elected by the parliamentary majority, which is what Saakashvili has in view.
After the early parliamentary election in May 2008 dominant United National Movement won 119 out of 150 mandates. To introduce amendments to the Constitution at least two thirds of overall deputy vote is needed. If so, Saakashvili has the required support.
Speaking about the reform of the constitution the Georgian president stated that the basic draft of the new constitution was approved by the Council of Europe and the conference that was held in Berlin on July 15-16 assisted by the Organization of Technical Cooperation of Germany. Curiously enough, the Committee was summoned two days after the international conference in Berlin most probably to give the parliament time to introduce amendments to the nation-wide discussion before going on vacation.
It means the amendments to the Constitution can be adopted in September or October. What a curious situation: fifty committee members are shaping the Constitution for a year, then take it to Europe for approval, then pass the document for rapid adoption by the parliament and then only give it to people. All this takes place in inert August when people are least concerned over politics. It looks clever but in a cheating way. And when the opposition and common public realize they have been deceived they' ll be told "what did you think about?"
If the operation is a success all main presidential functions will be passed over to prime minister that will be elected by the parliamentary majority. This will help Mikheil Saakashvili retain power after his presidential term expires. In essence, taking the post of PM he becomes the head of the state entitled to determine the country's foreign and interior policy. The president will preserve some of his current nominal functions.
Yes, the president will remain chief commander and will continue to represent Georgia abroad. But presidential powers get considerably thinner: no important document issued by the president will have any force unless endorsed by prime minister.
The president will be elected by the population of the country, as now. Prime minister will be elected from the parliamentary majority. The head of the government and his ministers will be subject to the parliament only. There is hardly any doubt that the parliament's pro-presidential majority will adopt the Constitution in the form Saakashvili wants, no other option. People's opinion will be presented at random on this principle "Here I hear - here I hear not".