UNM to support constitutional changes
United national Movement (UNM) parliamentary minority group is ready to support the Georgian Dream-proposed constitutional changes on presidential powers, but on the condition if at first the Parliament holds a non-binding, test vote to see whether Georgian Dream (GD) has enough votes or not to endorse the bill.
Minority leader Davit Bakradze said after the closed-door meeting of UNM party on Tuesday night that UNM wanted such test vote in order to put an end to Georgian Dream coalition`s claims that the constitutional amendment will be passed no matter of UNM`s decision.
It was announced on Tuesday evening that the parliamentary session will start discussing constitutional amendment, stripping the President of his right to dismiss government and appoint new one without Parliament`s approval, on March 21 with voting expected either on the same day or next day.
At least 100 votes are required for a constitutional amendment to be endorsed. GD has now 83 lawmakers; UNM has 54 MPs although initially it had 65, but eleven lawmakers quit President Saakashvili`s party since the October elections (one of them joined GD parliamentary majority group).
Some of the GD lawmakers say they were confident that proposed constitutional amendment would be endorsed as there were MPs within UNM who were willing to vote for the constitutional amendments if their party decides otherwise.