TBILISI, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has called Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and his supporters for talks on Monday regarding “constitutional changes” amid the growing political crisis in the country.
“I invite the prime minister and his team for dialogue with me and representatives of my administration. We can start these talks on Monday and consider a wide range of issues, regarding the constitutional changes and other important initiatives which need a consensus on the way to secure peaceful coexistence of various institutions…” Saakashvili said in a statement posted on his Facebook account.
“The negotiations will start as soon as the prime minister accepts the invitation,” the Georgian president said.
Ivanishvili made a statement on Saturday condemning the protests outside the National Library and expressed his "willingness" to cooperate with the president "in accordance with the constitution and the rule of law."
Hundreds of the Georgian president’s opponents blocked the entrance to the National Library in Tbilisi on Friday, preventing Saakashvili from delivering his annual State of the Nation address and forcing him to give a televised speech instead.
The protesters, who demanded Saakashvili’s resignation, gathered at the entrance, saying they wanted the embattled Georgian leader to pass through the so-called “hallway of shame.”
Saakashvili's spokesperson Manana Mandzhgaladze blamed Ivanishvili and his supporters for having organized the protests. She said Saakashvili’s address in parliament was also blocked on Ivanishvili’s order.
Saakashvili’s parliamentary address was initially scheduled for February 8, but was postponed by the premier’s majority in parliament on Thursday till an undefined date amid the ongoing debate over constitutional changes on presidential powers.
Prime Minister Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition has proposed changes which would strip the president of the power to dissolve the government and appoint a new one without the parliament’s approval.