Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili, who is one of the leaders of the Georgian Dream coalition will meet President Saakashvili on Monday evening.
“There have been interesting developments in recent days. As the Prime Minister [Bidzina Ivanishvili] noted there have been certain positive elements – I would say some initiatives as well – in President’s recent public statements. We have always been ready for a constructive relationship and the Prime Minister stated that we are ready to continue the dialogue on all the important issues,” Usupashvili told journalists.
MP Davit Bakradze, who leads the UNM parliamentary minority group, will also be present at the meeting, Usupashvili said.
MP Bakradze, who is ex-parliamentary speaker, expressed hope that it “won’t be a meeting just for the sake of meeting, but yield will concrete result.”
Usupashvili also said: “We we will discuss on the one hand all the issues which is matter of interest for the President; at the same time we expect a progress on central issue – that is constitutional changes an agreement on which should pave the way towards all the other directions.”
He was referring to the Georgian Dream-initiated constitutional amendment to limit president’s power to sack the government and appoint new one without Parliament’s approval.
“The President has stated about this issue that he is ready in principle; so we will find out today what this readiness means,” Usupashvili said.
In his February 8 address to the nation, President Saakashvili said that he was not against of limiting his powers in respect of appointing new government; he, however, said he was strongly against of another constitutional change, which was initiated by the Georgian Dream about relocation of Parliament from Kutaisi back to capital Tbilisi.
Commenting on this issue, parliamentary speaker Usupashvili said that these were two separate, unrelated constitutional amendments which should not be tied to each other. He also said that the issue of Parliament’s location was not as pressing and time sensitive as the issue of presidential powers.
“Failure to agreement on one of these issues does not automatically mean failure to agree on another or vice versa,” Usupashvili said. “We want an agreement from the President and the United National Movement first and foremost on the key issue – that is the issue of presidential powers. All the other issues will be resolved in the due course.”