No early elections ahead of vote on new constitution – Saakashvili

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Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has rejected the opposition's demand that a new parliament be elected to vote on a new constitution intended to give more powers to the parliament and prime minister.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has rejected the opposition's demand that a new parliament be elected to vote on a new constitution intended to give more powers to the parliament and prime minister.

The draft constitution that would cut presidential powers is now being considered by a special state commission.

Ten Georgian opposition parties has said that the current parliament, dominated by the center-right United National Movement, must be replaced by a more "legitimate" one ahead of the crucial vote.

Parliamentary elections are to take place in Georgia in 2012, and presidential polls in 2013. Saakashvili told reporters on Monday the elections would take place on schedule despite any claims by the opposition.

"You cannot demand new elections each time you lose [the previous polls]. It is like demanding the holding of a World Cup championship every three months only because Brazil failed to win the championship," Saakashvili said.

The United National Movement gained 60% of the vote in the local elections held in Georgia on May 30.

The Georgian president said the opposition "loves itself and seeks to occupy [government] positions, while the government loves the Georgian people and takes care of their future."

 

TBILISI, July 20 (RIA Novosti)

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