09:41 20.06.2017

Georgia could hold referendum on restoration of monarchy

3 min read
Georgia could hold referendum on restoration of monarchy

Georgian Parliamentary Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze said that while constitutional monarchy has its serious advantages, restoring such a system of government in the country requires a broad analysis of the public opinion.

"Today we met with the patriarch [Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II] in relation to several matters, including his proposal concerning the restoration of constitutional monarchy," Kobakhidze told journalists.

He and the head of the parliamentary committee on legal affairs, Eka Beselia, visited the leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church on Monday.

The meeting focused on the content and purpose of this proposal, the speaker said. "For us, every word of the patriarch, his every exhortation has a special significance and, naturally, is a subject matter of serious discussion," Kobakhidze said.

Every system of government, including constitutional monarchy, has its advantages, he said. "And the patriarch believes that constitutional monarchy adds quiet to the system government, to the political system," Kobakhidze said.

The speaker has not ruled out a referendum on this matter.

"As for the restoration of monarchy, such a principled issue requires a broad survey of the public opinion. Only in this case can the relevant decision be made," Kobakhidze said.

The Georgian government has taken a similar stance.

"It is that issue which requires full national consent," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Science Alexandre Jejelava said.

"Our position as government will be based on the will of the Georgian people," Jejelava said.

The idea of restoring monarchy in Georgia has its opponents too. In particular, Gigi Ugulava, one of the leaders of the opposition European Georgia party, says that, with the country facing many social and other problems, "assuming additional expenses for the upkeep of a royal family would be immoral."

"We need to solve our today's problems, and neither a tsar nor constitutional monarchy and nothing else, however you call it, will help," Ugulava told journalists commenting on the idea of restoring constitutional monarchy.

It was reported that during the Sunday prayer Ilia II recalled that a tsar had ruled Georgia, with God's grace. "In today's world, a tsar is often called a monarch, a tsar reins but does not rule. This is called constitutional monarchy and brings quiet to the country," Ilia II said.

This will not happen today and tomorrow, he said. "But we must analyze the past, the present day and the future,"," Ilia II said.

On November 3, 2013, the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta was the place of baptizing a two-year-old tsarevich Giorgi, a descendant of the ancient Bagrationi royal dynasty, which produced prominent Russian and Georgian statesmen and military figures.

At the time, businessman Levan Vasadze, one of the tsarevich's godfathers, told journalists: "Our people and our country first celebrated the restoration of statehood and then the restoration of autocephaly and now a solid foundation has been laid for the restoration of constitutional monarchy, with the blessing of our patriarch."

Tsarevich Giorgi was born in Madrid on September 27, 2011, and is the first son of representatives of the Georgian royal dynasty, Anna Bagration of Georgia and David Bagration of Mukhrani. The couple exchanged vows at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi on February 8, 2009, the day of commemorating Tsar David Agmashenebeli.

According to Georgia's history chronicles, the Bagrationi dynasty dates back to the 6th century A. D.