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Georgian Group Pushes For Indirect Presidential Elections

Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili has openly opposed a change to indirect presidential elections.
A group has registered with Georgia's Central Election Commission that wants to have the country's president elected by parliament rather than directly by the public.

The commission's spokeswoman told reporters on February 28 that to achieve its objective, the group must collect 200,000 signatures from citizens supporting the idea.

President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has openly opposed indirect presidential elections, would then have to set a date for a referendum that would change the country's constitution.

The next presidential election is scheduled for October.

The ruling Georgian Dream coalition, led by Saakashvili's rival, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, has been discussing making more moves toward a parliamentary system.

Also on February 28, Georgian parliamentary deputy Irina Imerishvili said that control over the State Intelligence Service and the National Forensics Bureau will be transferred from president to the government soon.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax