TBILISI, DFWatch–A draft law already presented to parliament which will reduce the powers of the president may be amended.
According to the draft of constitutional changes, if the president dismisses parliament and government, he won’t have the right to himself appoint a new government. The amendments also suggest modifications in his right to dismiss government and parliament.
The draft about constitutional amendments was presented to parliament in December, 2012. The procedure with a public review of the draft is already finished and a parliament review is about to start, while negotiations between the two competing blocs – the governing Georgian Dream coalition and Saakashvili’s National Movement, have failed without achieving any specific agreement on amendments.
The new draft should have been adopted by the end of March and this should happen before the president finally addresses the nation from parliament. Saakashvili’s annual speech to parliament was scheduled for early February, but the ruling coalition decided to postpone it until the parliament had made a decision regarding constitution amendments of the powers of the president. This decision was followed by violent incidents outside the National Library in Tbilisi.
Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili on Saturday told journalists that the text of the draft may be changed and views and proposals of civil society organizations may be reflected in the draft and it might be modified in the parts that deal with the president’s power to dismiss or the parliament within six months before or after a national election.
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), which works on law issues, thinks that reducing the power of the president is positive, because the current edition of the constitution ‘contains risks to create political crisis in current situation of the country and doesn’t foresee any effective mechanism to neutral the crisis.’
However, representatives of GYLA explain that if the goal of the draft is to exclude the possibility of a political crisis through reducing the president’s power, then it is unclear why it is necessary to reduce the constitution guarantees of president dismissing the parliament.
“It is important not to grant president power to manipulate with the opportunity to dismiss the parliament,” lawyers of GYLA say and they have support of the other popular organizations, which do not support Mikheil Saakashvili and his party.
By current edition of the constitution, president doesn’t have right to dismiss parliament six months before or after election, but has right to dismiss the government.
Parliament election was held in October of 2012, while president election is scheduled in October of 2013, which means that in April there will be ten days for president, when he will have the right to dismiss the parliament.
Opponents of president and his party think that president might use this rights to create political crisis in the country; that’s why Georgian Dream coalition started preparing constitution amendments.