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Constitutional agreement breakthrough

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 18
It seems that some constitutional changes that were not anticipated to go into effect until after the 2013 presidential elections may now be activated sooner. Leader of Parliamentary minority Davit Bakradze made a statement about the possibility that the constitutional changes, adopted in 2010 might be partially enacted immediately. However, this is still speculation right now and a final agreement has not yet been reached.

During the first meeting between President Mikheil Saakashvili and Parliamentary Chairman Usupashvili, things did not look too promising. Moreover, during the joint press conference, Saakashvili began debating with Usupashvili.

During his video appeal on February 15, Bakradze suggested that large portion of the proposed bill could be immediately implemented. He said that some amendments would come to force in October, whereas, some would come into force immediately. According to him this would be a very profitable step for ensuring stability in the country.

The parliamentary chairman expressed his content that the UNM was ready to adopt some amendments immediately and added that they are cooperating in this direction.

However, the former majority UNM is bargaining and asking for certain conditions in return for these concessions. For instance, adopting the constitutional amendments by the Parliament not via two-thirds of the votes (100 mandates) but with three-fourths (113 mandates). It means if these amendments are adopted, the Georgian Dream will receive the support of the UNM because otherwise it would be impossible to accumulate so many votes alone from the coalition. It means that by this rule no decision on moving back the Parliament from Kutaisi back to capital Tbilisi will take place.

MP Vakhtang Khmaladze thinks that it will enable the opposition to always demand certain benefits in return for receiving any proposed bills or constitutional decisions.