(Sept. 25, 2008) On September 16, 2008, the President of Georgia delivered his “State of the Nation” address to the Parliament and proposed a series of reforms aimed at further democratization of the political process in the country. Simultaneously, using his right of legislative initiative, the President submitted to the Parliament bills amending major laws that regulate election campaigns and the activities of the government and political parties.
The suggested amendments provide for the simplification of the no-confidence vote in the legislature and make it more difficult for the President to dissolve the Parliament. According to the bill, the financing for opposition parties through the national budget will be increased, and a special government-funded foundation will be established with the purpose of financing think tanks created byopposition political parties. In addition, the Parliamentary Control Group that conducts legislative oversight of the Armed Forces and Ministry of Defense's budget will include more members of the opposition. (Saakashvili Announced a New 'Wave of Democratic Reforms' (in Russian), ITAR-TASS News Report, http://www.gazeta.ru/news/lenta/2008/09/16/n_1271220.shtml (last visited Sept. 16, 2008).)