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President may resign before the end of his term

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, January 4
The former Speaker of Georgia’s Parliament and the ex-leader of the Republican Party, Davit Usupashvili, believes that Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, may resign before the end of his term, which expires in October 2018.

Usupashvili made the statement in an interview with the Kviris Palitra newspaper while he was commenting on possible changes to be made to the method of the President’s election.

Usupashvili says in his interview that if the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party introduces the rule of the indirect election of a president, the President may tell the people that he cannot resist the changes and step down in order to let the people elect a new president before the changes go into force.

“Accordingly, GD may get a much stronger president, and more political problems will start afterwards,” he added.

The politician predicts that this might happen in June, when the State Constitutional Commission drafts the bill on constitutional changes.

”I have always been for the classic model of parliamentary governance, when President is the Head of the state and is elected directly by people,” he said.

However, Usupashvili explains that the GD, which has formed a constitutional majority in the new parliament, will change the rule of the President’s election.

“If the majority continues their disputes with the President, this might lead to a crisis…the President may take a number of legal political steps and the thoughtless attempts of the GD will be returned to them like a boomerang,” Usupashvili said.

The president refused to comment on Usupashvili’s statements. He believes that this issue is not worth commenting on.

“I have no comment on this issue. It is not worth commenting on,” said Margvelashvili.

Constitutionalist Vakhushti Menabde says that political analysis of the issue would be purely speculation, as no one knows what steps the President will take or if the method of the president’s election will really be changed.