Stuck with an Impotent Presidency


Why is Georgia always stuck with some awkward governing absurdities? Why can’t this nation create, once and for all, a system of governance, including the electoral code, which will not need to be forcefully altered every once in a while due to circumstantial exigencies, and that will not have to be tailored on some whimsical aims and aspirations of another dictatorial leader of a developing country? Take Trump, for example. He craves to see his dictate honored in his own country as well as elsewhere around the globe, but he will never become a dictator in the true meaning of the word – the American system of governance will never allow this nonsense to happen because such is the nature of the American system of ruling the country.

Five years ago, Georgia was a “presidential republic,” like the United States, where the executive branch was made up of president and his cabinet. The only difference was that the Georgian government was technically headed by a prime-minister, who could formally be equaled to the White House Chief of Staff. Here, we have ministries, headed by ministers, and there, they have departments headed by secretaries. Those were the only formal differentiating features; otherwise, the systems were similar and all was OK – it worked, and successfully enough. There was one grave drawback in governance in Georgia. All of a sudden, the entire decision-making power became concentrated in one person’s hands, and that one person was the president of the country. What happened later is that the president, following the expiration of his term of office, wanted to stay in power which contradicted the constitution, so he decided to change the system of governance in Georgia, to reflect this change in the constitution. Georgia was turned from a presidential into a parliamentary republic, rather, into a semi-parliamentary republic with so many branches of government.

The system of governance in Georgia allowed the concentration of political power in the hands of one branch of government, in the president. In America, this cannot happen because the American political system is adamantly safeguarded by the principle of checks and balances which realistically works there in a foolproof system. Now the question pops up – why does it work in America and not here in Georgia? To answer this question professionally, with a reasonable margin of precision, one needs to do long-term deep research into Georgia’s political history of at least the last thirty years, and include into that scientific endeavor the analysis of the psycho-type of an average Georgian political animal.

The theme is extremely serious for the further development of democratic governance in Georgia. Again, why does the exact same system of government iwork in the States and not working in Georgia? Why is the fairness of the judiciary always questionable in our political culture? Why is it so painfully difficult to write a constitution which could successfully do its job for the next five hundred years with only occasional minor amendments? Why do we allow more than three branches of government in this tiny nation of only three and a half million, whereas the three hundred and fifty thousand proof American nation uses only three? Why do we have to be enslaved by the system which feeds us so many flagrant inconveniences? Why are we stuck with an impotent presidency and a systemic headache? Who needs a commander-in-chief who will never have anything to do with the army except when making rare patriotically embellished speeches before the defenders of the motherland, who don’t even know what the president is doing in the country they have to fight for when the time comes and the need materializes. Why is a parliamentary republic better and more optimal than a presidential republic? Why are there two high-level courts in Georgia – Supreme and Constitutional? America uses only one, with two functions, and they say it is more than enough to be judicially good and fair. I don’t think there is anything more exigent to be discussing on everyday basis in the Georgian legislative body. And I guess we the people have nothing hotter to talk about than the issue that bothers us so much – the issue of governing the country in the most effective way.

Nugzar B. Ruhadze

23 March 2017 20:48