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GD Leaders Say UNM Offers to Cut Significantly Presidential Powers
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Feb.'13 / 13:22

In ongoing talks on power-sharing arrangement between PM Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream (GD) coalition and President Saakashvili’s UNM party the latter has proposed to enforce new constitutional provisions passed in 2010, which significantly cut presidential powers, earlier than scheduled in late 2013, according to GD leaders.

PM Bidzina Ivanishvili was the first to disclose publicly this aspect of ongoing talks.

Ivanishvili told journalists during his visit to Ankara on February 14 that “there is a good initiative from Saakashvili” to enforce new constitution earlier than it’s scheduled – after the presidential elections in October, 2013.

“This is more interesting initiative, which was put forth by the President. Negotiations continue and, if needed, I will also engage in these talks,” PM Ivanishvili said.

Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili, who is negotiating with UNM on behalf of GD, said on February 15 that talks were ongoing around this proposal of UNM. 

“Although that [new constitutional] model contains certain shortcomings, its enforcement – possibly part of it – would help to resolve many problems,” Usupashvili said.

Usupashvili said that GD was pushing for one specific issue – amending constitution in a way to limit President’s power to sack sitting government and appoint new one without Parliament’s approval.

“In the course of negotiations readiness has emerged to take broader approach in tackling the problems and we said that it’s an interesting idea. Back in November and December we have offered this proposal [to enforce the new constitution now instead of late 2013] to UNM, but at the time they were not ready for that,” Usupashvili said.

“In the existing reality, taking into consideration multiple factors, today not only they expressed readiness, but they themselves proposed this initiative and we are now working on it,” Usupashvili added without specifying what, if any, concessions GD will make in exchange.

“Many factors determine people’s more and more rational behavior,” Usupashvili responded when asked in exchange of what UNM decided to agree on significant cut in presidential powers.

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