Georgian lawmakers have voted to limit the powers of the president, in the latest round of the power struggle between President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The two men have been locked in a power struggle since Saakashvili's United National Movement lost October's parliamentary election to Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition.
In a first of three votes, parliament on March 21 unanimously backed a motion that removes the president's authority to dismiss the government and parliament.
After months of political wrangling, his allies supported the motion -- but only after a nonbinding test vote to demonstrate that without their support, Ivanishvili's coalition does not have the required two-thirds majority to pass constitutional amendments.
In a televised statement, Saakashvili said the vote was important for "democratic dialogue."
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and Civil.ge