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A large hurdle remains for the Georgian Dream

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 4
Public discussions over the latest constitutional changes have ended. Now it is the parliament’s turn to decide if the ruling Georgian Dream will have a constitutional majority during the voting. Much of the developments in the country depend on this issue. In fact, the amendments to be introduced are crucial. At first, the amendment should allow parliament to be moved from Kutaisi back to the capital Tbilisi; secondly, it will curtail the president’s ability to discharge the parliament and the government. The opposition United National Movement leaders have openly rejected the possible amendment, saying that it would not support the changes.

The proposed constitutional changes require the votes of 100 MPs out of 150. How does the parliament stand in this regard? The parliamentary majority has 83 mandates; 6 MPs have independent factions and most probably they will also support the Georgian Dream; 2 MPs from the opposition will supposedly also join the majority – altogether the majority can gather 91 votes, the extra 9 votes can be obtained by attracting some members of the UNM.

Leader of the parliamentary minority Davit Bakradze stated that the Georgian Dream has exercised various types of pressure on UNM representatives in order to receive their votes. Bakradze said the MPs are intimidated, invited to the Prosecutor’s office, threatened and so on. The parliamentary majority however, denies these allegations and admits that the Georgian Dream will most likely not manage to accumulate enough votes to successfully adopt the amendments.

This problem has been discussed by the media on various levels. Of course the issue is not over yet and the voting procedure will definitely take place. Only then will it become known whether the amendments will be adopted or not. If the amendments are adopted, this will further show the public that the UNM is the loser.

Obtaining the necessary two-thirds of the votes will open space for the Georgian Dream to introduce more amendments in the future. However, if the constitutional amendments fail, this will undoubtedly boost the image of the UNM and help them to continue on their path of revenge which has been clearly illustrated by their recent behavior.

Secretary General of the UNM, Vano Merabishvili, has openly declared their party's policy. He said they are not going to give the Georgian Dream the opportunity to govern the state for four years. “We should do everything to accelerate change in the government,” he said, stressing that his party has a large arsenal of activities that can be used to get rid of the current administration.

In reality it looks as though the Georgian model of cohabitation is based on serious political confrontation which could lead to things spinning out of control.