TBILISI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The Georgian parliament on Thursday adopted a constitutional amendment on limiting presidential powers with 135 votes, a unanimous ballot with all the present lawmakers at the 150-seat legislature.
Not only the 83 lawmakers from the ruling coalition Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia voted for the amendment in its first reading, but most of the 53 lawmakers from the opposition United National Movement also voted for the amendment.
Prior to the first-hearing voting, a test ballot was held in which 93 lawmakers supported the adoption of the amendment on limiting the presidential power to unilaterally dissolve the government as well as the parliament within 180 days of the country's parliamentary elections.
Georgia held its legislative polls on Oct. 1 last year and a political crisis has been looming large toward the end of March.
The United National Movement has called on the public to take to the street on April 19 and local political pundits have been worrying that another Rose Revolution could be in the making to reverse the parliament elections in which the former ruling United National Movement lost unexpectedly to the former opposition coalition.
The United National Movement used to hold 119 seats in the unicameral legislature and it was voted last October to take 65 seats in the new parliament. Since the elections, some of the United National Movement lawmakers have departed from the party either to join the ruling coalition or to become independent lawmakers.
A 2006 constitutional amendment gave the sitting president the power to dissolve the government and if the parliament would not give its confidence vote to the presidential dissolution for three times, the president is entitled to dissolve the parliament as well and then call a snap election.
Parliament minority leader and former speaker Davit Bakradze said Thursday during a plenary session that he would not stay with the opposition team should the president use his power to dissolve the government and parliament.