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Speculations on early suspension of President’s term ungrounded

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, November 3
The Executive Secretary of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party, Irakli Kobakhidze, denied speculations that after winning the parliamentary elections the ruling team may prematurely terminate the term President Giorgi Margvelashvil before his tenure expires in 2018.

Kobakhidze confirmed that the ruling team is holding consultations over the change of Georgia’s governance system, but he rejected reports that the President’s term may be snap-suspended.

“Nobody will touch the president's authority until the end of the term. This would be a gross violation of the constitutional principles. Such reports are only speculations,” Kobakhidze said.

He added that Georgia has a mixed governance system, with more parliamentary elements maintaining a president with restricted powers [adopted under the previous United National Movement Gov’t], and the GDDG would likely support and keep the model.

Another member of the party, Zakaria Kutsnashvili, stated that GDDG members are also considering the system of solely parliamentary governance in Georgia.

“We will hold serious discussions which system of governance is preferable for the long-lasting development of Georgia-returning to the Presidential governance, the establishment of a purely parliamentary system or maintenance of the current hybrid system,” Kutsnashvili said.

Expert in Constitution issues Avtandil Demetrashvili believes that a purely parliamentary governance model might not work for Georgia.

Demetrashvili says that the current governance system is very close to a parliamentary republic model, but it is not entirely parliamentary governance as the President is elected by the people.

He believes it will be impossible to constitutionally reduce the President’s authorities now, as Margvelashvili’s term expires in October 2018.

“We had a purely parliamentary republic in1918-1921, and it was found out as ineffective,” stressed Demetrashvili.

Georgia’s parliamentary elections were completed after run-offs on October 30. The GDDG managed to obtain constitutional majority in the 9th composition of the Parliament of Georgia by receiving 115

seats. In general, a party must have at least 113 MPs to bring changes to the country’s the Constitution.

This regulation was introduced in the constitution by Saakashvili and his team who wanted to create comfortable conditions for themselves to stay at power for the time unlimited. However in 2012 Bidzina Ivanishvili and his Georgian Dream Coalition managed to defeat the ugly regime and now it tries to find the most democratic and appropriate form of governance for the country.