21 February, 2013
Interview with Kakha Kakhishvili, Director of Research Center of Political Technologies

Today it’s of utmost importance for the coalition, by means of constitutional changes, to bereave Saakashvili of the lever to dismiss the Government (and Parliament). With the new constitutional amendments the President will have no authority; he will have no right to abolish the Government. As it seems, PM Ivanishvili’s political coalition will gain but Kakha Kakhishvili, Director of Research Center of Political Technologies thinks otherwise:
K.K. – New
constitutional changes are a trap for Bidzina Ivanishvili. In case of enacting these amendments, due to the complication of dismissal of Parliament, the ‘National Movement’ is avoiding the probability of dismissing the Parliament and having early elections; thus they’ll retain their seats in the Parliament and secure their role of Parliamentary minority for 4 years.
I think, the ‘National Movement’ is trying to prolong negotiations in order to have the chance, if any, to use the constitutional lever (if the the President dismisses the Government) and usurp the powers.
Q. – ‘National Movement’ is also demanding constitutional amendments, to increase the quorum to ? (this norm was to be put in action after the presidential elections).
A. – By increasing the quorum they are blocking Constitution. ? is a very high qualification that will complicate introduction of amendments to Constitution.
Right after enactment of amendments ‘National Movement’ will start working for breakup of ‘Georgian Dream’.
Q. – Will ‘National Movement’ manage to break ‘Georgian Dream’ up?
A. – In ‘Georgian Dream’ there are problems. After one or two years it will be revealed that the Government is not fulfilling all the promises and it will affect Ivanishvili’s rating. It’s possible that in the Parliament some political groups start bargaining on some issues behind Ivanishvili’s back. Giving Parliament the right according to which the fate of Government will depend on the unity of Parliamentary majority is dangerous for the Government.
It isn’t quite likely that through constitutional amendments the Premier becomes stronger. The Parliament as well as its chairman will become stronger; the President will become weaker but anyway Saakashvili’s term expires soon. Consequently, it’s possible that the ‘Nationals’ may prefer two birds in the bush to one present bird in hand (ability to dismiss the Government): to split the majority during 4 years and make the Premier’s post unstable. Thus, I think semi-Presidential model of Republic when in case of crisis the President is arbitrator seems better.
Q. – It’s not only ‘National Movement’ that gains from these changes; ‘Georgian Dream’ satisfies its interests as well.
A. – Through these changes the ‘Nationals’ don’t gain much but it doesn’t mean that they won’t profit after 2013 when the qualification for constitutional amendments increases to ?
The ‘National Movement’ coalition agreed to negotiations that only serve to protract time. All this creates an illusion that ‘National Movement’ dictates its conditions to ‘Georgian Dream’ and makes political weather at the Parliament. In case ‘Georgian Dream’ has 100 votes that are sufficient for constitutional amendments, let them bereave Saakashvili of levers. It isn’t clear why they get engaged in ‘Nationals’ game.
Q. – In your opinion, why do ‘Georgian Dream’ discuss constitutional amendments with ‘National Movement’ if they can get approval in Parliament without their consent?
A. – Either they don’t have enough votes for constitutional amendments and shun confessing in it or, I have doubt, it isn’t only ‘National Movement’ but some forces of the coalition that want to enact now those amendments that were to be enforced after October (I mean strengthening of the Parliament).
We don’t yet know exactly - what was the agreement between ‘Georgian Dream’ and ‘National Movement’ and what guarantees were given to ‘Nationals’.
Q. – What guarantees to you have in mind?
A. – I mean even personal guarantees. They might demand to stop legal assessment of the activity of former high-ranking officials and taking them for interrogation. Saakashvili may ask for the guarantees because he knows that when he is not the President any longer, questions may be put to him too. ‘National Movement’ will attempt to get inviolability of their property in return to constitutional amendments. Their position is clear but I don’t understand - when you have enough votes for constitutional amendments, what’s the use of conceding everything unless the now initiated constitutional model (strengthening of Parliament) does not suit you? And we know well which subject of coalition may gain from it.
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