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Saakashvili democratizes the Constitution2008-12-31 10:52
On December 26 Mikheil Saakashvili gave a speech in the Georgian parliament with the initiative to reduce his presidential powers. Today the draft of amendments to the Constitution will be discussed by the deputies.
"All ministries, - the president's words are quoted by "Novosti-Gruzia" agency, - will have an obligation to report to the parliament and finally to the people. The parliament will be entitled to raise a question of the government's responsibility in case it does not cope with its commitments. Our task is to find the European model that would correspond to the most precise concept of democracy and according to which the Georgian people would be a master with all the rest accountable to it".
That means the parliament will have more rights to control the government. "All state structures will become accountable to the parliament and the people", - the president summs up.
According to the comments presented by "Novosti-Gruzia" and in a number of other publications the amendments to the constitution will facilitate the dismissal procedure of the government by the deputies' initiative, and the president will not be able to dissolve the parliament. However the latter has not been confirmed by the president's direct quotation. Nevertheless it is interesting that according to Georgia's current constitution he has the right to dissolve the parliament and can do it at various times. This clause was introduced following the Rose revolution in 2003. In this connection the opposition repeatedly stated that Saakashvili had virtually adjusted the country's fundamental law to himself.
Though the content and the complete list of amendments being prepared is not known to the public, "Sobcor.Ru" agency reports with reference to the words of some deputies of the parliamentary majority: the president will be able to dissolve the parliament only once in case of non approval of the budget or composition of the government.
So the country's leader decided to cede part of his powers before the New Year? What is the explanation?
It is reasonable to suppose that the Georgian president places importance on the fact how rapidly his rating is going down both in his country and in the eyes of the international community. Now on the one hand he most probably takes a step towards the opposition that blames him for authoritarianism and disastrous governance of the country. On the other hand he tries to please the West that demands the country's urgent democratization.
However the opposition's reaction is not totally unambiguous - at least according to the press.