Georgia Lawmakers Block Saakashvili Speech Amid Constitution Row

Georgian lawmakers allied with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili prevented President Mikheil Saakashvili from giving his state-of-the-nation address as the two sides squabble over constitutional changes.

Saakashvili won’t be able to deliver his speech until his party agrees to back constitutional changes that would remove the president’s right to fire the government, Parliamentary Speaker Davit Usufashvili told the television station Rustavi 2 today from Kutaisi, the seat of the legislature 230 kilometers (143 miles) west of the capital, Tbilisi.

Saakashvili’s spokeswoman Manana Manjgaladze confirmed by phone that the president’s trip to Kutaisi has been canceled.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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