(Update: adds President Saakashvili’s comment in last paragraph)
President Saakashvili will deliver his annual state of the nation address to the Parliament on February 8, it was announced on Friday by the Parliament’s press office and confirmed by the President’s administration.
It will be his ninth annual address in the Parliament and the first one that will be made in the legislative body not dominated by his UNM party.
The four previous addresses also involved debates when President was listening to rebuttal speeches by opposition lawmakers and then responded to them. But before 2009 President Saakashvili was leaving the Parliament chamber without attending the debates. It’s not yet clear whether the President will engage in debates this time or not.
“Consultations are still ongoing about the format and final decision will be made during a parliamentary bureau session on February 5,” the Parliament’s press office said; it also said that the President's address was scheduled for 2pm next Friday.
“I do not want this address to be confrontational; I want it to be constructive and also debates too to be constructive,” President Saakashvili said on February 1 in Batumi and expressed hope that it would be possible “to find common language on certain issues.”