President Giorgi Margvelashvili could delegate signing power to Prime Minister Gharibashvili when Georgia signs an association agreement with the EU June 27, an expert on the constitution suggests. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili maintains that he should sign Georgia’s association agreement with the EU, but says he wants to avoid a dispute about the issue.

Shalva Tadumadze, parliamentary secretary of the government, said Friday that the EU treaty will be signed by Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on June 27. However, the constitution says that the president signs international agreements.

Government officials have declared many times that the PM will sign, but this was the first time it was officially stated. Later the same day Gharibashvili also said clearly that he personally will do the signing. His tone of speech when saying this was seen as a sign that he felt he was the winner in a rivalry with the president.

Earlier, President Margvelashvili has said he thinks the president should sign the treaty, but that the main issue is that it is signed, not who signs it.

Lasha Abashidze, head of the president’s administration, said Friday that the president’s position remains that he should sign the AA.

“However, considering the strategic and high importance of this agreement, he [the president] doesn’t plan to complicate, or bring tension or dispute about it,” Abashidze said, adding that there have been no consultations with the president about this.

As explained to DF Watch by constitutional expert Vakhushti Menabde, a way out may be for the president to delegate power to the prime minister. When the prime minister signs, ‘people must know that it happens not because he has such a privilege, but because the president gave him such a privilege,’ he explained.