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Amendments against Saakashvili2013-03-25 17:42
Georgian Parliament has adopted a constitutional amendment limiting the power of the president. Saakashvili has almost lost the last lever of influence on the political process: he is no longer able to remove and appoint the members of the Cabinet. What should the president and his parliamentary group expect in the future, and what preceded the approval of constitutional amendments?
Saakashvili is no longer able to dismiss Ivanishvili. President lost that right today, after the Parliament of Georgia had adopted in the third reading the constitutional amendments restricting the powers of Mikheil Saakashvili. 114 votes "for" and not a single "against" - such is the result of today's final vote.
Earlier, Mikheil Saakashvili could remove and appoint members of the Cabinet without any consent of the Parliament. That is, in case of dissolution of the Parliament and till the new election Saakashvili could dismiss the cabinet and to appoint his own government.
Key debate flared up in the first reading on March 21. Mikheil Saakashvili's party "National Movement" offered to hold a so-called rating voting. The essence of such vote during the discussion of the important issues is to conduct a kind of dress rehearsal and find out how many Parliament members will vote "for", and how many "against", in order not to disrupt the adoption of a law.
The first who proposed to hold rating voting was Mikheil Saakashvili. He advised Ivanishvili and his supporters to stop putting pressure on individual members of the "National Movement" and luring them to their own side. "Our position is united as never before," Saakashvili said in an interview with reporters. "So let them cease putting pressure on members of our party to get their votes. And if they do not have enough votes to make a decision, then we can give them 6 or 7 needed votes to close the matter once and for all." Saakashvili reiterated that he had never intended to use this point of the Constitution, but none the less he was ready to compromise in order to stop the "cheap speculation" on the subject.
Other leaders of the "National Movement" also did not see the point in adopting these amendments. "I do not understand why they are so insistent demanding to approve these amendments," the UNM Secretary General Vano Merabishvili said at a press conference. "The president has repeatedly said that he was not going to use this constitutional provision. But if it is so necessary for the "Georgian Dream," we are ready to meet their wishes and vote "for."
The head the parliamentary minority David Bakradze tried to give even more credibility to Saakashvili's words about his intention not to dissolve the government. He even said that he did not see himself in the political team of Mikheil Saakashvili, if he tries to apply this provision to dissolve the Cabinet and appoint a new one. That is, Bakradze tried to explain that the "sword of Damocles" hanging over the "Georgian Dream" did not threaten it in fact.
But one thing is statements by Saakashvili and his team, and the other - the level of credibility of these claims, especially on the part of their political opponents. IN December last year, "Georgian Dream" initiated the amendments to the Constitution and was not going to to turn off the intended path. And the protest of the Saakashvili's party, which arose from the very onset of the legislative initiative, has only strengthened suspicions of Ivanishvili's team.