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A hard autumn in store for Mishiko?28.09.2010 | 17:32
Georgian parliament domineered by the National Movement representatives has adopted amendments to the Constitution in first reading. The draft enables current leader Mikheil Saakashvili to take PM position after his presidential powers expire letting him reign in Sakartvelo for ever. The opposition shows resentment over the "pocket parliament's" tricks threatening Saakashvili with protest rallies.
123 parliamentarians voted for transfer of power levers from the president to prime minister with 102 of them being National Movement members. In fact, only 100 votes are needed for final adoption of the draft, Gazeta.ru reports. Four parliamentarians voted down the amendments, the remainder refusing to vote at all.
Curiously enough, justice minister Zurab Adeishvili promised to consider suggestions of the opposition at the time of the session which never happened. Accordingly, Labor Party Secretary General Shalva NAletashvili's initiative was left unnoticed: he had suggested adding a clause forbidding Saakashvili to take the position of prime minister and chairman of parliament after 2013.
As Akaki Minashvili, a National Movement leader stated, the opponents to the authorities fear losing the coming parliamentary election trying to keep the winner from appointing PM artificially. Thus, by the time Saakashvili's powers expire the republic will face the switch from presidential system to a mixed one with the party winning the election entitled to appoint Prime Minister. No Nostradamus is needed to predict who will be the parliamentary majority in two years' time.
Mikheil Nikolayevich himself is taking an act-wait assessing his prospects as PM which, given the circumstances, look quite awkward. According to the president, his objective is to keep the team of reformers, their ideology and program aimed at Georgia's prosperity, going. "I think least of my future occupations, but my life plans are big", - Novosti Georgia quotes. - Now I'm more focused on the events before 2013 and I'm less interested in what will happen afterwards".
However, the political farce the work on the country's Constitution turned into has made the opposition more infuriated. Kakha Shartava, National Forum leader has already stated that there is little time to bring changes in Georgia, so this autumn is decisive. "We are ready to organize actions of any scale to stop the authorities from provocation", - he added.
Nino Burdzhanadze of Democratic Movement - United Georgia and Kakha Kukava, a Conservative, threaten Saakashvili with rallies. The latter remarks that the protest rallies will be the only efficient way to resist Mishiko's policies.
Tetrebi party (the Whites) sees people's impeachment of Georgia's current leader as the only solution in the political crisis. The movement's activists have started signature collection to hold a people's referendum on the issue. By the way, ex president of Georgia Edward Shevarnadze promised to put his signature on the document emphasizing that the situation in the country is really critical.
The Labor party does not give up either. They have compiled an open letter to the UN General Assembly. Natelashvili and his partisans call the West to react to the constitutional formalization of а dictatorship in the republic. According to the oppositionist, Saakashvili's eternal reign will be a great shame and a fatal mistake in contemporary democratic Europe. For Georgia it will be a disaster.
GeorgiaTimes correspondent got in touch with Manana Nachkebia, New Rights' executive secretary asking her to forecast political weather in Georgia this autumn.
Are large-scale protest rallies likely upon adoption of the amendments?
I don't think so. Now there are no grounds to say that people will go out onto the streets. Still, I don't believe it impossible that serious social disturbances might start when Mikheil Saakashvili will really try to act as the head of the state in PM's office.
Will the draft go through all three readings in parliament without problems?
Yes, it will. The first reading shows that neither opposition parties nor the parliamentary majority create obstacles to these amendments.
Do you think the West will pay attention to the Labor Party's address to the UN General Assembly?
No international organization including the UN General Assembly will undertake to interfere in these processes of Georgian people's concern. I personally don't think this should be called for. It is clear beforehand that it will bring no change.