Plenary Session of the Parliament

01 Oct 2019
Plenary Session of the Parliament

Following the endorsement of the agenda, the ground was given to individual MPs.

Political Statements

Chair of the Procedural Issues and Rules Committee, Giorgi Kakhiani: “The positions we have heard during the Public Consideration by both non-parliamentary and parliamentary political groups, allow me to state that following the 1995 constitution, the shift to the proportional electoral system will be one of the most fundamental issues for political groups testifying the positive outcomes of political consensus. The decision to move to the proportional electoral system is both due to the Government’s decision and the recent political developments in the country. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is a great merit of our Government, though the role of the youth is undeniable. 2017 Constitution envisaged the change of the electoral system to that of proportional though with sporadic consensus with opposition parties it was impossible to due implement the reform which would suggest the dramatic changes to the model of elections serving the fulfillment of novelties outlined in the updated version of the Constitution. From this point of view, I believe, this initiative provides grounds for very positive attitudes towards the Constitution since it entails sundry issues that incorporate different ideas such as: thresholds and blocs. Having staunch attitudes, truth be told, we have not been able to hear any solid counter-arguments against our position, but of course discussions are underway and we will still hold the opportunity, within the legislative process, to hear other views around this issue. This process will carry on and it is advisable to end up with an ultimate consensus”.

Alexander Kantaria: “Today marks the historical date when on October 1, 2012, with the leadership of Bidzina Ivanishvili and the efforts of the Georgian people, an epochal change took place resulting in a peaceful change of the regime. Much has been done, but much remains to be done in the future. New faces will of course appear, but this day, as a marker of public reunion, I believe, will remain in the history of Georgia. Hence, I would like to congratulate all those devoted on defeating the fear and peacefully managing the termination of the regime”.

Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Sofo Kiladze: “The Parliament approved the Code on the Rights of the Child a couple of weeks ago with the III reading. I have served the official visit to UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, where the report of Georgia was considered. The Committee unanimously hailed the importance of the document and along with our international partners whether it be UNICEF, EU, US or others, they once again emphasized that in the event of proper implementation, the Child Code is the precondition for ensuring the well-being of every child. The budget for 2020 has been introduced in the Parliament and now it is important for us to properly allocate funds so that the future of our children is taken into account. I urge, among others, the opposition, that with a very healthy attitude, which includes criticism, we can and will together raise funds to ensure the effective implementation of this Code. I am sure we will all support the right budgeting so that it is as tailored to the rights of the child as possible and in the end, we will succeed to create a better future for our country”.

Member of the Faction "European Georgia - Regions", Zurab Chiaberashvili: "The National Bank had to convene an emergency meeting and tighten monetary policy. Provisions are being sold. At this point, of course, it may be justified to sell provisions or tighten monetary policy, but in the end, we know that this does not lead to fundamental change of the situation".

Chair of the Health and Social Issues Committee, Akaki Zoidze: “It is unfair for the opposition to think that the budget is not human-focused even when it comes to increased health care, social expenditure and funds for the people who are most in need. Opposition parties underestimate the drastic changes according to which 800 million GEL will be allocated for the families in need, pension of the retirees will be increased up to 220 GEL from January 1 while for those with disabilities included in the I group as well as citizens over 70 it will amount 250 GEL from July 1, pensioners living in high mountainous regions will receive 300 GEL, and the doctors who serve the villages at a very low salary will be provided with an additional 100 GEL salary. They probably believe that the fact that teachers will be paid with additional 300 GEL from September 1, the fact that the soldiers and police officers will be further appreciated and funded aren’t enough to bespeak about a human-centered budget. 
The pension indexation law is being introduced, which will allow retirees to no longer depend on the vain and false promises of politicians. On contrary, they will actually know how much their pension will increase each year, because it will be tied to economic growth and inflation. It will be a specific and long-term way to determine how people's lives will be mitigated alongside with the appropriate pension reforms we have been implementing. That is our foremost task".

Independent MP, Eka Beselia: "The Georgian Dream came up with the idea of justice, and unfortunately, after seven years, the people who had borne the burden of October 1, have been offended. After seven years, there are more people waiting for justice that there were in 2012. There are even more people seeking justice, more people who are socially disadvantaged and in need of support. Our supporters and international partners have been offended. The positive dynamics we had in the first years in terms of human rights, which made us proud and confident that the process was on the right track and that the country was moving in the right direction, are also in danger today".

Chair of the Faction “Alliance of Patriots and Social-Democrats”, Giorgi Lomaia: “I hail the fact that the Minister of Economy was very promptly involved in the issues related to the Tkibuli rally. There was certain agreement between the protesters and the Minister, and the miners were paid salaries, but that has not been enough to keep the city developing. Considering our natural resources, we can result in Swiss-like cities in Georgia. We could also think about giving Tkibuli a status of a mountainous region”.

Chair of the Faction “National Movement”, Roman Gotsiridze: “From today on, 25,000 taxi drivers will be penalized as a result of the corrpupted initiative of Tbilisi City Hall. Painting cars white doesn’t affect technical condition of vehicles or passenger safety. We however forget that we are a country beyond the hundred with GDP per capita of 4,000 USD and the main problem here is saving people, alleviating poverty rather than caring about the aesthetics that is the source of corruption".

Member of the Faction “European Georgia”, Giga Bokeria: “The process of hearing judges is a good and justified practice. Although it was not your will to do so, it is your credit, but what these hearings reveal is very important. The impression made by the judges is catastrophic, and so the OSCE report, which showed how problematic and hasty the selection process was, has been confirmed in practice".

Deputy Chair of the Faction “European Georgia – Movement for Freedom”, Lela Keburia: "As you have certain messages to the public, so does the public have clear messages to you and you have seen a lot of protest in three months since Gavrilov's night. This protest, anger and resentment is growing".

Deputy Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Koba Kobaladze: “We have heard once again how stupendously the scenario of so-called Mukhrovani riot was staged. No combat equipment, no military personnel left the perimeter of the base and took any specific action. Every military personnel, any military unit has an assigned operational on-duty reporting to senior management on developments in the hierarchical military or non-disciplinary actions or disciplinary misconduct. Absolutely no documents, during the course of the trial, confirmed that a military officer on duty addressed any of his commanders. On the contrary, the commander-in-chief of the military was not in contact with either the head of the army or the captain at that time. He acted as a buzzer directly to the military base and contacted the Minister of Internal Affairs at the time, presumably Vano Merabishvili. As for starting equipment in the military, it is not a legal misconduct and taking it as a crime is simply ignorance and uncertainty. If the equipment is not in battery, then it is the responsibility of the personnel in charge. Being in battery, the equipment led to misinterpretations as if they were to set off to Tbilisi. I asked both the judge and the prosecution about the grounds of this presumption. As for the heroics of the personnel, those were the heroes, and many of them are leaders and commanders who, even after the capitulation, left the war zone with no casualties".

First Deputy Chair of the Procedural Issues and Rules Committee, Guram Macharashvili: “The pledge to the public that we would draft an open and transparent procedure for the selection of candidates for the Supreme Court judges, has been fulfilled and I am confident that this process will be accomplished in a way that suits the Georgian society and the judiciary. Over the past five days, compared to the Justice Council, which has also set the standard for lengthy interviews, we have even raised the bar and introduced a new method of hearing a candidate – each per day thus allowing anyone concerned to live track the process. This is a standard that has been introduced in the Legal Issues Committee and the Parliament of Georgia”.

Independent MP, Beka Natsvlishvili: “We have raised the issue of hearing the Minister of Economy, Natia Turnava about the mining sector and I do not wish it to remain as a mere lip-labour. Roman Kakulia also made a statement at the Minister’s committee hearing, and I once again appeal to her to come and comment on the current developments in the mining sector and tell us how she intends to tackle the Tkibuli problem".

Member of the Faction "European Georgia - Regions", Sergi Kapanadze: "The President pardoned convictions of high-profile cased including killing a policeman, and the murder of a young man. This has disturbed society, because it, in turn, is intricate to the extent that such pardons contain a problem. But there is an additional problematic component that relates to alleged corruption and the decisions of the people in the administration of the President".

Deputy Chair of the “Alliance of Patriots and Social Democrats”, Ada Marshania: "The Government has been happily stating about the increase of salaries, allowances and pensions to citizens of a certain profession and social strata. We would be very pleased with this story, but unfortunately, in our opinion, it is not a gain. This is a kind of compensation in response to the awful fluctuation of the GEL exchange rate. Hence, we hail this fact itself, but the Government has forgot about the veterans with their 22 GEL and the IDPs with 45 GEL. These people deserve attention and help”.

Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili: “As for the Mukhrovani riot, it was a real disobedience. The soldiers did not bring any tanks in battery, they didn’t leave the dislocation. This disobedience was aimed at the fact that after the defeat in the August war, these militias did not want to go to the parade, it was disobedience and should be held accountable, but the whole story is that Saakashvili, your Government and you wanted to exemplify the punishment of the army, our soldiers and officers. I remind you that the August war was not over, that you arrested hundreds of soldiers and officers for desertion. You are the authors of such a shameful act".

Secretary of the Faction "European Georgia", Giorgi Kandelaki: "Yesterday Giga Bokeria and I had a press conference on a very important topic. The case involves the killing of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian citizen in Berlin on August 23, which has been the focus of Western media. It is troubling that the Georgian Government remains silent on such an important issue. Mr. Khangoshvili had been cooperating with the Georgian Government in the past against both Russian intelligence services and the influence of Islamic extremism in Georgia, and the information provided by him was used not only by the Georgian state but also by our allies to circumvent significant threats”.

Secretary of the Faction "National Movement", Tinatin Bokuchva: "We comprehend that revenge is not the choice that the new Government should make. Instead of persecuting political opponents or the former Government, the Government should take care of improving the daily lives of fellow citizens by creating jobs, progressing the country, and fulfilling the strategic commitments, including joining the EU and NATO".

The term of office for MP Shota Shalelashvili was terminated on the basis of his own statement. "Shota Shalelashvili has returned to the entrepreneurial activity he used to do before joining the Parliament", - Giorgi Kakhiani stated.

Amendments to the Law of Georgia “On Higher Education” were discussed with the I reading. The Bill envisages changes according to which, graduates / MA candidates registered at the 2019 national exams /master’s exams will have the possibility of admission under certain conditions in case of failure at the exams thereof. 

As the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Giorgi Vashakidze elucidated, the prerequisite of these changes was sustained by the fact that in 2019, the graduates residing in the occupied territories of Georgia were restrained from leaving the occupied territories and participating in the exams.

According to the Chair of the Education, Science and Culture Committee, Mariam Jashi, the issue of occupation should be the subject of national consolidation. "In this regard, I would like to especially thank our colleagues from the opposition who supported the Government's initiative at the committee sitting", - Mariam Jashi noted.

The MPs discussed the Amendments to the Law “On Citizenship of Georgia” in simplified manner with the I hearing.

According to Beka Odisharia, one of the initiators of the Bill, Georgian citizens, who had not been made a decision on losing their Georgian citizenship until August 15, 2018, will have the right to apply to the Agency until December 31, 2020 to maintain Georgian citizenship.

First Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Nino Enukidze introduced the Amendments to the Law “On Licenses and Permits”. According to her, the draft law regulates issues related to the direct issuance of underground freshwater extraction licenses to entities that hold water supply licenses.

The draft law provides for the issuance of a direct issuance of a license to obtain freshwater for commercial use on a privately-owned land. As an additional condition, the annual upper limit of water use is set at 5,000m3. In addition, according to the draft law, 10 calendar days will be set for the administrative body issuing the license, instead of three days”, - Nino Enukidze commented.

Regarding the Bill on Amendments to the Code “On product Safety and Free Movement”, one of the initiators, Grigol Mikeladze stated that persons carrying out the unfinished construction within the timeframe provided for by the construction permit in the special construction regulation zone by the resolution of the Tbilisi City Council are exempt from responsibility provided by the specific norm of the Code.

Amendments are made to the Law “On Public Service”. According to the rapporteur, Guram Macharashvili, the draft law regulates the issue related to the appointment of a candidate nominated by the Competition Commission.

In particular, representatives of the mayor (other than the municipality of Tbilisi) and other persons employed in the municipality who are civil servants or persons employed under the employment contract shall be deemed to be employed by the administrative contract upon entry into force of this Bill.

Guram Macharashvili also presented Amendments to the Law on "Tobacco Control”, which regulates issues related to the sale of nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes or other similar devices, cartridge, capsule volume, obligations of manufacturers and importers of new tobacco products.

Within the ambit of amendments, the "Code of Administrative Offenses" is supplemented by the norm according to which M2, M3, N2 and N3 category vehicles that are located within the radius of 20 km from the Georgian State Border Crossing Point, and are embedded in the electronic system of vehicle management, will be subject to a fine of GEL 500 in case of violation of the rules established by the Georgian legislation. Deputy Minister of Finance Giorgi Kakauridze presented the draft law with the first reading.

The Bill on "Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing", which was with the I reading along with the legislative package, regulates money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment and management, including the preventive measures, provision of information, storage of information and privacy protection, conformity control, issues related to the Financial Monitoring Service of Georgia, oversight and inter-agency cooperation and the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions.

The Amendments to the “Criminal Procedure Code” were discussed at the session. According to the Chair of the Legal Issues Committee, Anri Okhanashvili, the draft law also regulates the issues related to the transfer of possible evidence seized upon the motion of the defense.

The issue of electing David Narmania as the Chair of the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission has been postponed. Due to the fact that this issue caused a difference of opinions from the legal point of view, the Speaker, Archil Talakvadze found it expedient to call off the issue and hold additional consultations.

The draft resolution on the documents prepared for ratification was also discussed at the plenary sitting.

The next plenary session will be held on October 2 at 12h00.