TBILISI, DFWatch–The negotiations between Saakashvili’s party and Ivanishvlii’s coalition about constitutional changes have failed, because the president demanded an amnesty for all crimes committed by officials in his government, a demand rejected by Georgian Dream.
“As a result of a few days of intense work, agreement was achieved with the opposition on every issue concerning constitutional changes. But the National Movement refused to implement this agreement in the last moment, because we couldn’t achieve agreement on the issue raised in the final moment – the form and content of an amnesty for officials,” Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili said.
He said that the ruling Georgian Dream coalition agreed with each proposal of the National Movement – to write into the constitution that country’s western course policy is unchanged and not to move parliament back to Tbilisi before the presidential election in October, 2013.
They also agreed to immediately enforce the regulation to increase parliament’s constitutional quorum – the number of votes needed to pass amendments – from 100 to 113 votes out of 150 in total. This would rob the Georgian Dream coalition, which today is nine votes short of the 100 threshold, of a lever to pass constitutional amendments.
Despite all this, Usupashivli says the National Movement party demanded ‘unconditional and full amnesty for every former official, including ordinary employees of municipality and crimes committed before November 1, 2012, except violent crimes and crimes against the constitution and other severe crimes.’
The speaker of parliament said the two sides agreed to apply unconditional and full amnesty for medium and low level officials and crimes committed before October 1, 2012, except severe crimes. In addition, person would only qualify if he had admitted guilt, and would also be prohibited from holding a public position for five years.
The National Movement removed the president, ministers and members of parliament from the list of officials who may be covered by the new amnesty law. But this was unacceptable to Georgian Dream.
Davit Bakradze from the National Movement says that no-one demands immunity on the level of leaders and state political officials, but that the process of interrogation of people somehow related to the National Movement should stop, he said.
Usupashvili says the coalition was ready to agree on amnesty for medium and low level officials.
Bakradze claims the political climate in the country cannot be normalized before their demands are met.