TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president will meet with the speaker of parliament in the evening today to discuss topics which lie at the base of a protracted dispute between the two main political blocs.
Member of parliament Giorgi Gabashvili from the minority National Movement said in an interview with Rustavi 2 this morning that President Saakashvili is expecting the parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili, at his palace at 20:00 this evening.
“We will discuss all issues which the president and his team are interested in. We expect progress on the central issue, which concerns constitutional changes,” he said.
Usupashvili told journalists that he will be meeting with the president together with Davit Bakradze, the former speaker of parliament from the National Movement.
Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili wrote on his Facebook page that he might get personally involved in discussions if necessary.
The issues that threaten to gridlock the country politically concern whether to move parliament back to the capital Tbilisi, or leave it where it is today, in Kutaisi.
Another contentious issue is whether to limit the president’s power to dismiss government and dissolve parliament.
President Saakashvili has said he is for the latter, but will not accept moving parliament back to Tbilisi.
The Georgian Dream coalition is nine votes short of a constitutional majority. The National Movement has made use of the leverage this gives them and demanded that the constitution must define the country’s foreign policy course. The majority says it is impossible to have this in the constitution.
Several of the president’s top people were attacked by demonstrators outside the National Library Friday, an incident he claims was part of a persecution by the Georgian Dream government, meant to pressure his delegates in parliament into accepting the constitutional changes.
Ivanishvili says the incident was staged by Saakashvili.