Archil Talakvadze was elected as the Speaker with 94 votes.
The election was followed with performance of the State Anthem.
The Parliament took note of the application by the former Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze about his resignation and the president of the session, First Vice Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili thanked Irakli Kobakhidze for his activity on this position.
Prior to the secret ballot, A. Talakvadze addressed the MPs and thanked them for their support. He recalled the recent developments and stated that the Parliament will do its best to aid the injured. “It is the highest responsibility for me to be elected as the Speaker and administer this very important Constitutional institution. I hereby pledge to do my best and render a diligent, productive and reasonable service to the people, society and our country. I count on your support. It is regrettable to see the consequences of the recent developments – injured citizens, youth and the policemen. First of all, we shall take care of these people and the Parliament will be highly attentive to provide all aid to these people who paid the highest price for these developments and for irresponsible opposition politicians in the aggressive agenda. I would like to express my support to everyone, especially to the youth injured during the unrest, I also would like to express my support to the journalists also injured during their duties and respect my respect to the policemen injured while protecting the safety of our citizens and state interests”.
As to the developments, he stated that after he is elected as the Speaker, he will do his best to ensure productiveness of the Parliament. He underlined that none of the Russian MPs will ever step in the Parliament while occupation endures.
“We shall give assessment to this fact. We do not intend to delegate the political responsibility and we do not expect the part of the opposition to assume the political responsibility as they even failed to participate in the debates today as they were expected by the society. They should have not deceived the society as if the Parliament today discusses water or forest resource bills. They should stay in the hall and participated in the political debates where we estimate the recent developments. However, they opted to leave as it is the part of their agenda. It is destructive when they try to avoid the political responsibility and ignore the Constitution, legislation and the Parliament. However, I will do my best to regain productive activity in the Parliament and to make the future-oriented policy. None of the Russian MPs will ever step in the Parliament while the occupation endures, none of the compromises will be made at the account of our national interests”.
On June 20, the ruling party had a prompt response to the provocation. All the team leaders gave the due estimations.
The Speaker spoke about the storm to the Parliament and noted that there are lots of questions to be answered by the opposition leaders: “Our response was prompt. The Chair of the Party made a prompt and principal estimation along with all team leaders to the provocation. Unfortunately, we failed to prevent the provocative scenario, though we assume the political responsibility and the highest official under the Constitution, our colleague Irakli Kobakhidze made a noble decision to resign along with Zakaria Kutsnashvili who lifted the Parliamentary mandate within 24 hours. Our response and termination of the conference, as well as departure of Russian MP and assuming our political responsibility was ensured within 24 hours. Now, it’s up to you to assess whether it was a reasonable time and responsible steps by us. Yes, they are. We demonstrated our political responsibility. As to the protest, the society witnessed that the peaceful manifestation was suddenly interfered by a certain group and it can be proved by the video footage of media. This group tried to move the peaceful manifestation to the aggressive path. The storm has started to the police line and the Parliament. And yes, the Interior Ministry and the police have fulfilled their duty and protected the public order, the Constitutional institution, citizens and the policemen standing against the storm for 2 hours, tolerating violence incited by a certain group. So, there are the questions to be answered by the political leaders who stood at the front line of the storm. The questions are about the sand-filled bottles, the organizers of the aggressive attack to the police which never responded to the aggression but protecting the Parliament and safety of the citizens. Who was the inciter of the invasion to the Parliament and the mass disorders and violence? These questions shall be answered. Now, let me address the National Movement: you are not the opposition able to assume responsibility as you have never been a political force even during your authority able to assume responsibility”.
He thanked Irakli Kobakhidze and spoke about the Parliamentary Elections 2020 and the zero thresholds as the democratic decision made by the ruling party.
He noted that the initiative is disliked by the National Movement as with it, the party loses the artificially created exclusive. “Let me take advantage and thank my colleague, Irakli Kobakhidze for making a noble decision, for his contribution in the Parliament and for his Constitutional changes. I would like to ask you to stay calm during the working day in the Parliament and would like to respond to the decision on proportional elections, which was a democratic decision of our team with the zero thresholds. It is the difference between our political force and the destructive political forces which offers zero tolerance to the society from this podium while we offer the zero thresholds for the elections. We have initially made this decision on the proportional elections but we indicated 2024. However, life makes its corrections and now, understanding the demands of our society, we are the political force committed to fulfill the order of the society. We are committed to hold the proportional elections with zero thresholds in 2020. National Movement dislikes this initiative as it makes them lose the artificially created exclusive. Not a single subject in the elections will have to concede their political platform and make ally with other opposition forces. No one will have to concede the political party and access the National Movement as every political party will be eligible for the elections enjoying the change to have its representative in the Parliament, including our society. I would like to address our citizens, business sector, civil society, parents, youth and our pensioners – dear compatriots, order and safety will be strictly adhered in the country. No one will be allowed to use the violence to make changes in the country. The changes and the decisions are being made only by means of the elections to ensure fair elections with proportional rule and zero threshold”.
He responded to the peaceful protest and the police actions stating that the Interior Ministry prevented disorders. “I would like to respond to the peaceful protest of the youth and the police actions. What was that we have witnessed these days? The police was providing our citizens with water, they have been tolerating physical violence and attack remaining as the watchdogs of the order and safety of our citizens. The Interior Ministry and the Minister fulfilled their legal duty and prevented disorders that could entail much damageable consequences. The Ministry prevented the violence scenario in the country. Unfortunately, the price paid for it was high due to the irresponsible politicians. Our citizens, our youth and our policemen have paid high price. We have assumed the responsibility and ask no one to assume it instead of us. We made political decisions and responded to all the facts. However, within our respond, the Parliament will do its best to bring the inciters of the aggression to the responsibility. In fact, it was the attack to the police, which entailed the response to the 2-hour violence organized by one certain group”.
He underlined that Georgia will never become the victim of the aggressive agenda and will keep consolidation of democracy and security.
The Parliamentary agenda will become better, developed and oriented to the peaceful future. “Georgia will not become the victim of the aggressive agenda. I would like to address to our citizens that Georgia will never become the hostage of the aggressive agenda but will keep strategic cooperation with the USA, and movement to EU and NATO. Georgia will keep consolidation of peace, democracy and security. No matter how hard the irresponsible forces will try to menace our order, the authorities and the society will never allow such developments. Tomorrow, we will resume discussing the top issues, adopt the law on agricultural land, approve the law on Education concerning the youth and our future. We will approve the changes on proportional elections and keep moving to the better, developed and peaceful future. It will be the Parliamentary agenda and I pledge to ensure maximally constructive activity of the Parliament and peaceful policy. I have the same expectations and let me take this advantage and thank my constituency – Guria and its residents for supporting me. Their support is important”.