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Georgian deputies collect signatures to amend the Constitution

December 28, 2012, 23:33 UTC+3
The initiative belongs to Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili who said late on Thursday night that President Saakashvili was willing and ready to replace the present government
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TBILISI, December 28 (Itar-Tass) - The parliamentary majority, consisting of members of the Georgian Dream coalition, on Friday started collecting deputies’ signatures to initiate amendments to the Georgian Constitution that would allow the president to dissolve parliament three months after the elections instead of the current six.

David Saganelidze, the parliamentary majority leader, told journalists that the Georgian Dream Coalition had to enlist the support of 76 out of 150 deputies (50% plus one vote) to start the process of amending the Constitution.

The initiative belongs to Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili who said late on Thursday night that President Saakashvili was willing and ready to replace the present government and that the Georgian Dream coalition could help him to do that. “I have advised the parliamentary majority to draft a bill that would allow the president to dissolve parliament,” the Georgian prime minister said. Saganelidze emphasized that the majority members were ready to face snap elections.

The prime minister and his supporters are confident that the Georgian Dream Coalition was popular with a considerable part of the Georgian population and hope to gain even a more convincing victory in case an early vote is staged.

A three-month period following the October 1 parliamentary elections expires in January.

The parliamentary minority, comprising members of Mikhail Saakashvili’s United National Movement Party, disagrees with the initiative of Bidzina Ivanishvili. Pavle Kublashvili, the parliamentary minority representative, described the coalition’s actions as unclear. “The president’s actions have underlined that neither he, nor the parliamentary minority were seeking to create a political crisis in the country,” Kublashvili said.

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