Today, the Parliament opened the autumn session 2019 with the State Anthem.
The Faction “European Georgia” protested the Governmental changes. Despite the warning by the Speaker, Archil Talakvadze, the opposition MPs resorted to the protest noise and hence, the Speaker, pursuant to Article 224 of the Rules of Procedure, drove the opposition MPs out of the hall.
“Being the Speaker, I hail expression of democracy but no one is allowed to breach the Rules of Procedure and impede to the Parliamentary activity”, - the Speaker noted.
MPs made the political statements.
The Majority Leader Gia Volski responded to the opposition MPs protesting the occupation which is the result of their own actions. “There is no country, any developed democracy, admitting pluralism, freedom of speech and lies dominating in media. Some of the persons even have the slogan “Stop Occupation” on their T-shirts of banners while they themselves are the creators if this occupation”. He touched upon the current situation in the country and stressed the fact that Georgia occupies the leading positions every international ratings.
“It cannot mean that we have overcome all the grave problems such are unemployment and poverty. Though, the tendencies have been significantly improved with the greatest merit contributed by our former Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze. My colleagues have been visiting the villages and meeting the local residents and responsibility of every public official – from low to high – is of special importance. Responsibility shall further increase along with professionalism to serve for improvement of human lives in our country”.
The First Vice Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili touched upon the electoral reform and the Constitutional changes: “The result of the changes in the society and the politics shall gain accomplishment of the single-party domination, radicalism and destructive policy which we unfortunately witness for years. I hope, these changes will break the situation on the political field and create better cooperation opportunity”.
She called on the opposition to support the changes: “We all know that Georgian Dream cannot adopt these changes being alone. It requires the opposition and the opposition votes as we no longer hold the Constitutional Majority and hence, these revolutionary changes need to be adopted through cooperation between various political forces beyond Majority and Minority and I would like to hope that the opposition finds the will to support the changes they have been asking themselves, though the steps they make do not make us hopeful. However, let me express my desire for the opposition to support this significant reform”.
As to the OSCE recommendations, she noted: “The Speaker has been heading the work on the recommendations for months. All important actors are engaged – political parties, NGOs, international organizations and I am hopeful that every party and especially the political forces will strive to be constructive and result-oriented in this process”.
She stressed importance of the reform at the autumn session as the legal basis shall be fully regulated for 2020 to allow Georgian citizens express their choice in peaceful and fair milieu.
The Vice Speaker Zviad Dzidziguri stated that it is inadmissible to speak about occupation with the representatives of the preceding Government as it was the preceding Government that conceded 20% of our territories to Russian occupants. He, on behalf of the Faction “Georgian Dream – Conservatives” thanked Mamuka Bakhtadze for his activity. “All the regulations he has established regarding the pawn shops and micro-financial organizations are very crucial as these regulations saved many our socially vulnerable citizens. He has made significant steps in education and it as I believe, will facilitate the field specialists in their activity”.
He spoke about Giorgi Gakharia – candidate for Prime Minister: “Some are very concerned about Giorgi Gakharia as if he is the person confronting with the part of the population. Let me elucidate that the greater part of the population supports his candidacy and I have witnessed the attitude of the population in the regions. Thus, stay calm about the new Prime Minister as it cannot inflict damage to Georgian Dream. I call on our opponents to save their energy and vigor and stop whistling”.
The Chair of the Faction “Georgian Dream”, Mamuka Mdinaradze called on the opposition to stop speculating with the occupation. “I would like to tell them what really a sham is – it is a shame to speculate with occupation! It is a shame to call on for storming the Parliament! It is a shame to manipulate with the young generation! It is a shame to plan the Gavrilov revolution which has then been eliminated! It is a shame to violence on the police! It is a shame to speak that the August war was a relief! It is a shame to support the CoE Resolution in 2 months after August war and to “justify” as it was a diplomatic victory! It is a shame to spread lies on every subject! It is a shame for the torturers, murderers, deprivers of freedom of speech to speak about the high morality! It is a shame to protest the results of the occupation to Georgian Dream when it is the result of the activities of National Movement! And the National Movement is the main subject of shame for the country and while it remains in the opposition, it will be a shame for the country”.
He touched upon the tangible outcomes of the Government on de-occupation and stressed the challenges Georgia encounters.
Majority MP Tamar Khulordava responded to the judicial reform stating that it is the project based on the best international practice and improving transparency, accountability and independence of the system. “People often speak about the confidence of the society to the Government and naturally, the confidence is conditioned with the belief of people that their fate is protected by the judges of high competence and regulation as evidenced with the absolute transparency of the judicial system. The reputation of our Court we unfortunately declined for years and thus, we have to make radical steps and arrange every detail. We are more Catholics than the Pope in some sense, we establish the rules, selection criterion and procedures for the judges which is not applied in other countries but it derives from the reality and serves for healthier system. During this session, we will discuss two main issues – selection of the Supreme Court judges and the 4th wave of the judicial reform and I believe the Parliament will approve these issues”.
The Chair of the Defense Committee Irakli Sesiashvili spoke about aspiration to NATO: “This country has a choice and Georgian Dream makes certain steps on this path. It is not the rhetoric only but we enjoy the special and unique high intense relations with NATO, EU and the USA and the achievements of Georgia are impressive as estimated by the international experts”.
MP Dimitri Tskitishvili thanked the former PM Mamuka Bakhtadze for his activity in the bank sector, education sphere, and in regards of labor rights: “Mr. Bakhtadze supported us and we established the integrated monitoring groups and I believe that we will reach the significant breakthrough in these problems”.
MP Gia Jorjoliani called on the media and the society declaring that the words carry high importance and that June 20 shall be named as the “Night of Storm to the Parliament” instead of the “Gavrilov Night”. He spoke about the proportional electoral system.
MP Levan Koberidze touched upon June 20 stating that it was a planned action that shall be investigated by the Security Service. He called on the Majority to consider these developments: “We need to study every step of this day and the consequences thereof”.
According to the independent MP Beka Natsvlishvili, existence of National Movement in Georgia is a shame of the country but the Majority fails to do anything to decline this party. He spoke about the problems in the regions and the situation in tourism stressing that the people in these fields are not protected. He announced the new legislative initiative in this regard.
Eka Beselia emphasized some issues noting that the Parliament in a democracy, claiming to be a powerful institution, shall start the autumn session with investigation of the June 20-21 developments in the Parliament and beyond along with the Constitutional changes and election of the judges.
The Chair of the Faction “Alliance of Patriots and Social-Democrats” Giorgi Lomia spoke about the political situation and called on his colleagues to support the draft Resolution by the Patriots on declaration of National Movement as a culpable regime.
Irakli Beraia responded to the developments near the occupation line and hailed the de-occupation steps.
After the statements, the session resumed with the agenda.
MPs discussed the draft Resolution on Termination of Authority of Zakaria Kutsnashvili ahead of time” introduced by the Chair of the Procedural Issues and Rules Committee, Giorgi Kakhiani. MPs supported the draft with 93 votes.
The Speaker, Archil Talakvadze introduced the draft Resolution on Changes to the Constitution and on Set up of the Steering Commission on Public Consideration of the draft Constitutional Law.
“While holding the Constitutional reform, we have made the democratic decision to change the electoral system and to move our political system to the European, mode democratic and representative electoral system – proportional elections. The Constitutional reform has been successfully undertaken and the Parliamentary and political lives evidence that the new Constitution is a long-term democratic development guarantee for Georgia indeed”.
He thanked the members of the Constitutional Commission and the Chair Irakli Kobakhidze for their hard work.
He underlined that the Constitutional reform even helped the opposition to find its real place and functions in the Parliament. The new Rules of Procedure was the greatest achievement as well. “Today, as we start the autumn session and discuss the issues related to the proportional elections, we thus fulfill our political decision and promise to the society. Being the responsible political team we have considered the demand of the society to change the date of the proportional elections from 2024 to 2020 with the zero threshold. It is a democratic decision opening the political system for participation and ensuring real support to every political power and party to gain seats in the Parliament”.
He touched upon the Constitutional change registered with the signatures of at least 200 000 electors and introduced the draft resolution on set up of the Steering Commission for Public Consideration.
The Commission for the second draft will be of same composition to ensure synchronized considerations.
The Parliament approved the drafts and the bills for the III reading.
The Speaker stated that as the Parliament is to consider the candidate for Prime Minister and the updated Government, hence the change has been introduced to the agenda pursuant to Article 88 of the Rules of Procedure and the plenary sessions this week will be substituted with the sittings in the Committees and the Factions.