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Saakashvili: GD-Proposed Constitutional Amendment 'Not an Issue at All'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Feb.'13 / 23:58

Georgian Dream-proposed constitutional amendment on limiting presidential powers in respect of appointing new government without Parliament’s approval “is not an issue at all”, President Saakashvili said on February 26.

Speaking at a news conference he said that it was “an artificial issue”, put forth by the Georgian Dream with a purpose of diverting public attention from its failure to deliver on its pre-election promises.  

In an open letter on February 26 PM Ivanishvili called on President Saakashvili to give his “clear-cut” response on GD-proposed constitutional amendment in next two or three days. “State clearly and unambiguously within the next 2-3 days whether you reject or not constitutional dictatorship and whether you support or not to ban replacing government without Parliament’s approval,” PM Ivanishvili said in his open letter.

Saakashvili said that describing this constitutional clause, which allows the President to sack the government and appoint new one without Parliament’s approval, as “constitutional dictatorship” was “foolishness”.

Saakashvili then recalled events of November, 2007 and said that after his government broke up opposition’s street protest rallies and shut down opposition TV channel, he resigned and called early presidential elections.

“What does this fact show? Am I a dictator?” he said and also added that he conceded defeat in last year’s parliamentary elections and handed over government to Georgian Dream coalition.

He again reiterated that he was not intending to make use of this constitutional clause, which allows him to sack the government and appoint new one without Parliament’s approval.

“No, I am not going to do anything; that’s not an issue at all,” Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili said that he was ready to continue dialogue with the Georgian Dream coalition and personally with PM Ivanishvili, adding that there were multiple issues on which talks were required, including on foreign policy issues.

“We are ready to continue dialogue. What we want is to have [a proper political] climate in general,” Saakashvili said, adding that what mattered was the overall “climate” not what was written on the paper.

Saakashvili said that he had not exercised “even fourth of those powers” which were written in the constitution, because there were many other limitations “set by life.”

“It is possible to agree on the constitution as well, that’s not the top issue,” Saakashvili said and added that constitutional amendment should be passed by the Parliament unanimously as a result of agreement between the GD and UNM and “not through twisting parliamentarians’ arms”.

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