TBILISI, DFWatch–President Mikheil Saakashvili demands that parliament allows him to use his constitutional right to address the nation from parliament.
Thursday, the Georgian leader sent an open letter to MPs calling on them to follow the constitution, which obliges the country’s highest official to address elected representatives and society from parliament.
On the other hand, the constitution obliges parliament to listen to the president, he notes.
“We think that by following those rules of constitution, we could avoid many complications, which appeared a while ago,” he writes.
The president reminded them that there has been made many statements that the state of the nation address should be held in the near future.
“We hope the Georgian parliament will follow the basic law of the state, and representatives of the high legislative body, as well as our people, will be given the opportunity to listen to the report of the President of Georgia on the most important issues of the country,” the letter reads.
Originally, the president’s state of the nation address was scheduled for February 8, but the ruling coalition decided to postpone it indefinitely. The reason was that they wanted parliament to decide about a set of constitutional amendments which deals with the powers of the president.
Saakashvili therefore decided to address the nation on the same date, but from another location – the national library. This ended in a violent incident, as former political prisoners and other citizens gathered outside the library and clashed with activists and supporters of the National Movement; Saakashvili’s party.
As a result, the president didn’t appear at the library but held his speech at his own residence later in the evening.
Tina Khidasheli, member of parliament from the Georgian Dream coalition, said in a comment that parliament will decide when to invite the president to the legislative body.
“Even though Saakashvili has changed many positions, he still hasn’t studied to read one article from the beginning to the end in the constitution and understand its content,” she said, answering questions from journalists at Prime Time Newspaper’s Press Club.
If the president thinks that parliament violated the constitution, the MP says, this is not correct, and the constitution says that the president can once a year hold a speech in parliament and nothing more.
“The year ends in October for him and we will listen to him until this time, but parliament will decide and will send invitation when he should come. Not him, but we decide this issue,” she added.
Next president election is scheduled in October of 2013, where Mikheil Saakashvili cannot participate as he already served two presidential terms.