The Bureau, discussing November 12-15 plenary agenda, took floor to the MPs to make statements about the draft resolution by the Faction “European Georgia” on Set-up of the Interim Fact Finding Commission on Possible Corruption Scheme in the Parole of the Convicts by the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili.
According to the Vice-Speaker, Sergi Kapanadze, the draft is important whereas significant problems have been outlined in regards with pardon. “At least, irresponsible attitudes and possibly crimes have been outlined in the pardon process. As we know, the Prosecutor’s Office has commenced the investigation, though in a term of more than a month, no outcomes have been achieved. Thus, the Parliament shall be engaged in this process through the Fact Finding Commission”, - he noted.
The Chair of the Faction “Georgian Dream – Conservatives”, Giga Bukia refused to approve the draft noting that the investigation has already been launched: “We all remember that Mikheil Saakashvili has pardoned almost 40 000 convicts, including hundreds of murderers, hundreds of pedophiles etc. When we urge it to be a problem and when during the President Margvelashvili we have been urging it to be a problem and requiring the legislative changes to the Constitution and the legislation, then you – our opponents have been responding that we have been abusing the institution of the President and discriminating the pardon process. Today, as soon as the doubts have been aroused, the Majority has its principal position. The President has addressed the Parliament to make the pardon a public consensus and today, the pardon is solved by more civilized forms”.
The Chair of the Faction “Georgian Dream – Greens”, Giorgi Gachechiladze reminded the opposition about the Presidential pardon of December, 2007 and accused them of populism: "It was the snap elections 2008 scheduled on January 5 after all the bloodshed in winter, 2007. The pardon act has been issued in December applying to thousands of persons with the condition that they would ensure 500 signatures each supporting Saakashvili in the elections. This is the way of their pardon. And now, they play the games with the society pretending to be human and concerned about the pardon. No one though counted how many murderers or drug-addicted were amongst those pardoned by them. We all remember the people going door-to-door to the neighbors and relatives to sign and pledge to support Saakashvili in the elections. It is the form of their populism”.
The Chair of the Faction “National Movement” Roman Gotsiridze declared distrust to the investigations noting that if the Parliament rejects the draft, the National Movement will start the impeachment procedure: “We doubt the impartiality of the investigation as every investigation involving the Government and their crime, have been “harrowed”. None of the investigations have been finalized and we do not trust the investigation. So, set-up of the Fact Finding Commission constitutes your interests as well. In case if the Commission is not set up, then we will raise this issue and start the impeachment procedure”.
The Majority Leader, Giorgi Volski noted about the Commission that there is no sense for joint activity to find the trust as the aspiration of the opposition only relates to the political dividends: “Regardless of the essence of cooperation with this force in the Parliament, including in the Commissions – there is no sense. When we have cooperated and agreed on the foreign course in 2013 and then in 2016, you still have been complaining about being “forced” to do it. Even then, it was the destruction and I was against cooperation with them on the foreign course. However, it was our document and they approved it though urging that we were not sincere. So, I and my colleagues cherish respective attitude about joint activity with them”.
The Deputy Chair of the Legal Issues Committee, David Matikashvili responded to the idea and compared the opposition to “performance”: “When we speak about the pardons during Saakashvili, Shevardnadze etc., we never mean that if there were mistakes and misconducts, now anyone has the right to repeat them. Answer the question of the society how many of you have been intending to raise the impeachment procedure when Saakashvili pardoned the murderer of Sandro Girgvliani. Today, the law-enforcement structures exercise their functions. If you never intended to use the Fact Finding Commission for performance, the society would actively use this format. The Commission on Murder at Khorava Street confirmed that there is no truth for you – for European Georgia and the opposition – but it is only your political agenda”.
Though, the draft has been included into the agenda.
The Bureau discussed the new legislative initiatives and organizational issues.
The Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, Irakli Kovzanadze introduced the schedule of consideration of the 9-month review of the state budget 2019 stating that the budget within the accounting period has been implemented excessively with 154 ml GEL, exceeding the preceding index with 322 ml GEL.
The Speaker made the statement: “It is the Committee week and the Legal Committee keeps hearing the candidates for the Supreme Court Judges and this week accomplishes the process and it is very important how the Parliament ensures this process as we need to report to the society that the Parliament is ready for voting and decision-making. I hope that this week also demonstrates high standard of transparency and democracy. Every party concerned, including the Parliamentary opposition, Constitutional institutions and the civil society were allowed to see to the hearing process”, - Archil Talakvadze noted.