TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and the leader of the parliamentary minority, Davit Bakradze, have agreed to create a commission to work on changing the constitution.
In return, members of United National Movement won’t be interrogated regarding issues of election financing.
Ivanishvili and Bakradze on Saturday had a meeting at the former’s private house in Ureki, a resort on the Black Sea.
Bakradze told journalists after the meeting that one of the things they agreed about was creating a commission to work on changing the constitution.
“The commission will have members of the United National Movement, which is the main opposition bloc, and other parties, NGOs and experts,” he said. “Its goal will be to prepare a model of the constitution which is optimal for the next 10-15 years for Georgia in peaceful, calm process through consensus.”
Constitutional amendments has been a recurrent subject of dispute in Georgia as groups in society and the opposition have frequently criticized the government for adapting certain regulations in the constitution to suit its own interests.
According to the current version of constitution, the president has great power. The National Movement party in 2010 passed constitutional amendments which will increase the powers of prime minister and reduce the powers of the president. Those amendments will come into force after the presidential election in October. Now the coalition won’t to reduce powers of Prime Minister until those regulations come into force and the process of reviewing the new constitutional amendments is in progress.
The Georgian Dream coalition argues that fundamental changes are needed in constitution in order to havea balance between the branches of power. It is necessary to have UNM participate in this process, because it is the major opposition force and has experience.
It seems that Ivanisvhili had to go for a concession, because the UNM set as condition to stop ‘legal persecution’ of UNM members and people who donated to the party.
Many people have been questioned regarding this issue lately, while last year Saakashvili’s government fined members of Georgian Dream coalition by hundreds of millions for the same reasons. State Audit Office recently revealed that UNM party last year received donations through violation of law. https://dfwatch.net/saakashvilis-party-received-usd-3-mill-in-illegal-donation-19283
“I raised this issue and I am happy that we achieved agreement. Parliament and PM promises that persecution will stop and there won’t be any legal measures against donators of the party,” Bakradze said.
During meeting they also discussed the issue of MPs, who suspended work at parliament as sign of protest to detentions of Tbilisi City Council employees. Bakradze said he will recommend to the opposition to stop boycott and return back to work.
“This was very honest and beneficial conversation and discussion. Of course there are fundamental differences in our positions for many issues and the meeting revealed that such meetings must be rated positive,” he said.
Coalition representatives haven’t yet commented on this issue.