Overriding the President’s Veto - Any Palpable Results Expected?

Last week, a Member of Parliament from Georgian Dream (GD), Tamaz Mechiauri, blamed ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili for letting “a member of Soros NGO give up his knitting needles and granting him the right to veto.”

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee pointed the finger at Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili at the plenary session to discuss the President’s Veto over the bill on the National Bank. 

For his ‘rude’ wording, Mechiauri received harsh criticism even from the inner circle, the Republicans, who play a major role in the Georgian Dream coalition as a pro-western party. Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli countered Mechiauri’s sarcasm by stating she is proud that she served as a Soros NGO representative for years.

Representatives of the Presidential Administration who attended the session in Kutaisi assessed the statement as unethical and improper. “Observance of ethics and culture in parliamentary life is desirable and even necessary from any person, especially from an MP,” said Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze the President’s Parliamentary Secretary.

According to Mechiauri, the Lari exchange rate is used by the Opposition for fueling protest amongst the population against the government.

During the last few months, the Georgian Lari has depreciated dramatically, leading the government to accuse the National Bank (NB) of inactivity. This was the reason GD tried to pass a bill to take the supervisory function from the NB, a bill which was vetoed by the President. 

Since overriding the veto, President Margvelashvili has stated that he will sign the bill as he respects the decision made by the majority. He cites that responsibility lies with the lawmakers that have sturdily protected their positions.

There were discussions in numerous public circles as to whether the attack on the Georgian President voiced the general view of the GD coalition towards the presidential institution. Further, it was believed that Mechiauri, who seems to have a strong predilection towards the former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, mirrored the very position of the person considered to be ruling from the backstage.

At the same time, Georgia continues its laborious path towards the Euro-Atlantic space with some lethargy. Russia’s Fifth Column and Soft [but hard] power has been inarguably strong in the country, including its media propaganda. The elections of 2016 are nearing. And, significantly, Georgia still remains in economic shock, which has driven a colossal number of businessmen into a crisis and the majority of citizens into disappointment.

Steven Jones

10 September 2015 21:03