President Saakashvili has vetoed an amendment to the law on normative acts, passed by the Parliament late last month, giving chairman of Tbilisi-based Abkhaz legislative body the right to sign into law legal acts before the appointment of head of the Abkhaz government-in-exile.
President’s administration said on July 16 that this provision would amount to meddling in issues regulated by the constitution of Abkhaz Autonomous Republic.
The bill in question was initiated by the Abkhaz Supreme Council – the Tbilisi-based legislative body, which is a holdover from the Abkhaz Autonomous Republic and which, along with the Tbilisi-based Abkhaz government-in-exile, has been kept by Tbilisi since the armed conflict in Abkhazia in early 1990s; the both are formally deemed by Tbilisi as the only legitimate Abkhaz authorities; their representatives are also part of the Georgian delegation in the Geneva talks.
The bill introduces a provisional clause to be in force till January 1, 2014, which envisages allowing chairman of the Supreme Council to sign into law acts passed by the Council before appointment of head of the Abkhaz government-in-exile.
The post of the head of the Abkhaz government-in-exile is vacant since Giorgi Baramia resigned in early April.
Vakhtang Kolbaia was named by the Supreme Council as the new head, but President Saakashvili refused to approve the nomination citing Kolbaia’s affiliation with Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement-United Georgia, the party which President Saakashvili has denounced as “the political force, which in detriment of the Georgian national interests is linked with the occupying power”.
Vakhtang Kolbaia now serves as an acting head of the Abkhaz government-in-exile.