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Saturday, 17 March 2018


Saakashvili seeks eternity

22.09.2010  |  15:12

7857.jpegGeorgia continues to buzz over the new constitution draft. Not long ago Venice commission's delegation finished work in Tbilisi positively evaluating amendments to the republic's main document. The opposition roars that extension of PM's powers will let Saakashvili's regime prolong dictatorship. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed the constitutional fever with Labor Party secretary Kakha Dzagania.


A suggestion to cut the president's rights in order to balance all branches of government was made by head of the Council of Europe's Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio as early as in February. No wonder: concentration of power in the hands of the republican leader as well as limitation of media freedom and freedom of courts are a signature of the current Georgian regime. As Buquicchio stated in winter Georgia needs to lessen the parliament's dependence on president and transfer rights to control the actions of the head of the state to deputies.

Having given some thought to the advice and remembering 2013, the year of approaching expiration of powers, Mikheil Nikolayevich decided to go into amendments to the Constitution in earnest.

Amendments in question envisage transformation of the presidential system in Georgia into a mixed one with the political party winning the election entitled to appoint PM, Caucasian Knot reports.

However, given total dominance of now ruling United National Movement speculations on possible candidates for PM would sound naïve. It's well known who will get the appointment.

As early as in summer the opposition tried to bring their vision home to the authorities and the population feeling something wrong coming. Ten parties made a joint statement calling the parliament to refrain from adoption of the new constitution draft. The opposition believes that hurried consideration of the law draft will guarantee Mikheil Saakashvili's powers to control the state in future. "Introduction of amendments will only shift levers from president to PM", - Zakari Kutsnashvili, member of the public constitutional commission remarks. This short phrase is the essence of the new draft.

Nonetheless, the presented version of amendments to the Constitution of Georgia has been well received by Venice Commission that considers them totally compliant with international standards. According to Thomas Markert, the commission's secretary, the constitutional reform is an important event in the life of the country. "I think Georgian parliament will have a detailed consideration of the constitution draft to take the right decision in the end", - he added.

The right one? A seemingly good idea has turned into a political farce. Shalva Natelashvili, Georgia's Labor Party leader is now trying to draw Venice commission's attention to this fact. The oppositionist is sure that international organizations are turning a blind eye to Saakashvili's self-will. "Acting so the Council of Europe and Venice Commission will be equally responsible for all further developments in Georgia", - he states. - Saakashvili's bloody regime plans to extend its dictatorship for an indefinite term with the help of amendments to the constitution". Labor party members suggest amending Constitution in order to prohibit the president to take posts of Prime Minister and Chairman of Parliament upon expiration of his powers as head of the state. But will their voices be heard?  

As Kakha Dzagania told GeorgiaTimes, the republic's parliament will most probably leave the Labor party's comments unnoticed since the country's main legislative authority is made up of dominant party members. As for Venice Commission the oppositionist reminds that this is an advisory body giving recommendations only.

However, Dzagania believes, there are chances to push the amendments proposed by the Labor party through if the whole opposition backs the initiative. "Unfortunately, most part of Georgia's opposition eats out of Saakashvili's hand, - he says. - Partial criticism of amendments to the Constitution is beneficial to the president: it distracts from the main issue. Yes, there are many democratic countries with presidents becoming PMs after their presidential powers expire. But Saakashvili wants to outleap them all".

In conclusion the Labor party secretary added that if the amendments to the Georgian Constitution are adopted as they are now Europe and the whole world will have a South Caucasian dictator to last forever, not for some limited period. "As you know, PM powers are unlimited", - Dzagania remarked.

Eternal reign is the dream of any ruler. Sounds a brilliant idea, doesn't it? It seems that if the opposition does not make their voices heard people of Sakartvelo will have to stock up on eternal patience.

Ruslan Chigoev

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