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Georgian Dream Asks Saakashvili Allies to Help Curb His Powers

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Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s ruling coalition urged members of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party to help curtail his powers.

Georgian Dream wants United National Movement lawmakers to back constitutional changes that would remove the president’s right to fire the government, according to an e-mailed statement.

“Our opponents must join in discussions on whether Saakashvili should be stripped of the power,” it said today.

Ivanishvili, the Black Sea nation’s prime minister, called for Saakashvili to step down after his coalition unexpectedly won elections in October. Georgian Dream has 85 of Parliament’s 150 seats, short of the 100 needed for constitutional changes.

“They don’t have enough people to vote for this and are using pressure,” United National Movement lawmaker Giorgi Gabashvili said today by phone from Tbilisi, the capital. “What we’re offering is a working process to discuss these changes. There needs to be a compromise, a mutual agreement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at hbedwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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