TBILISI, DFWatch — Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will not impeach President Mikheil Saakashvili, as he previously had said he would do.
“When we enter parliament as a majority we will immediately begin to discuss his impeachment if he doesn’t proceed to resign,” Ivanishvili said November 1, 2011.
But Thursday, he said he was more reluctant to impeaching the president. The new PM said the international community has sent him negative signals about the idea of impeachment.
“I respect our culture, our society and our state. We will treat our opponents in the way our society deserves, not as our opponents deserve,” Ivanishvili said.
He said he might introduce changes to the constitution which would curtail the president’s powers.
Ivanishivili spoke in front of a large gathering of journalists who asked him about a variety of issues, marking a shift from the one-way communication strategy Georgians have grown accustomed to under Saakashvili.
He said that Georgia has no precedent for impeachment, but that his government will invite well-known foreign specialists to shed light on the impeachment issue.
“We will make an attempt at constitutional amendments to make the president compatible with the new constitution. We won’t initiate impeachment under the new constitution, but the parliamentary majority may initiate constitutional changes, under which the president’s rights and duties after the election in 2013 will soon switch over to the new constitution. We should keep the [office of] president, but with new rights and duties.”
The next presidential election is scheduled for October 2013.