Parliament approves state budget for the year of 2018
The Georgian Parliament has approved the state budget for the upcoming year of 2018.
The document presented by new Financial Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, was unanimously approved by the MPs with 111 votes in favor.
Debates and discussion preceded the voting all day long.
The total volume of the state budget increases reaching 12,441 billion GEL.
Georgian delegation to Participate in PACE Session
The Permanent Delegation of the Parliament of Georgia, led by the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Kakha Kuchava, will take part in the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on April 19-22.
According to the press service of the Parliament, the main topics of discussion at the session will be the global pandemic and Covid-19 vaccination, the situation of ethnic minorities in Council of Europe member states, Council of Europe strategic priorities and current processes in the world.
Givi Mikanadze, a member of the Georgian parliamentary delegation, will address the Assembly regarding the legal status of ethnic minorities in Georgia and the steps taken by the state for their full integration.
On the occasion of the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth will participate in the spring session of PACE (19-22 April 2021) which will take place in a hybrid format.
The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and the Secretary General of the organisation, Marija Pejčinović Burić, will also address PACE.
At this session, the Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, will present her 2020 annual report and the Assembly will award its Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.
There have been requests for urgent debates on "The arrest and detention of Alexei Navalny in January 2021" and "The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey", as well as for current affairs debates on "Covid passports or certificates: protection of fundamental rights and legal implications", "Armenian prisoners of war and other captives", "Covid-19 vaccination certificates: how to protect public health and human rights?", and "Russian threat to the pursuit of peace in Europe".
Topics on the agenda include a debate on the Assembly's vision of the Council of Europe's strategic priorities and a joint debate on human rights violations and the need for electoral reform in Belarus.
The OECD's work on taxing the digital economy with the participation of its Secretary General Ángel Gurría, discrimination against people with chronic and long-term illnesses, post-monitoring dialogue with Montenegro, the preservation of national minorities and a European policy on diasporas will also be discussed.
Irakli Garibashvili: The ultimate wish and task of all of civilized Europe and Michel is for us the authorities to continue working in the Parliament together with the opposition
The ultimate wish and task of all of civilized Europe and, in this case, of Mr. Michel is for us the authorities to continue working in the Parliament together with the opposition, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili told the press during his visit to Brussels.
A solution must be sought, though it cannot be at the expense of the state's interests, the Head of Government added.
"We had a very productive meeting with President Charles Michel. I would like to thank him once again for his direct mediatory engagement. His envoy is presently in Tbilisi, continuing negotiations with both the opposition and our party. The process continues. Tomorrow, we will have a chance to engage in dialogue. I would like to make one thing clear. We are called to find a solution, but it in nowise can happen at the expense of the state's interests. Of course, we are ready for a fair decision. It must be a compromise more or less acceptable to all. We have openly stated our position. I shared with Mr. Michel the position of our party and the Government, and he listened to our offers attentively. As you know, the opposition, over the past few days, has been especially destructive in its attempts to widen the gap instead of contributing to the process of dialogue. We have seen numerous attempts and provocations over the past few days. I hope that the opposition can continue constructive dialogue. The ultimate wish and task of all of civilized Europe and, in this case, of Mr. Michel is for us the authorities to continue working in the Parliament together with the opposition. And that is our ultimate task as well. Next few days will show how we will fulfil this task. I will abstain from disclosing our concrete positions, because there is no agreement yet and negotiations are still underway," Irakli Garibashvili said.
Press Service of the Government Administration
The Committees held the last hearing of the candidates for the Ministries
At the joint sitting, the Human Rights and Civil Integration, the Legal Issues, the Defense and Security, and the Procedural Issues and Rules Committees discussed the vote of confidence for the Cabinet of Ministers.
At the sitting, the Committees heard the candidates for the Ministers, Juansher Burchuladze, Gocha Lortkipanidze, Tea Akhvlediani and Vakhtang Gomelauri.
The candidate for the Defense Minister, J. Burchuladze reported about the reforms and NATO inter-operability programs, defense capacity of the country and military cooperation with the partner states.
He stressed two documents developed by the Ministry – the 10-year plan of development of the defense capacity, and the 4-year plan of defense strategic overview. Speaking about the plans, he dwelt on the importance of local military production and modernization of the aviation park. “Modernization of the air forces is a very important direction which will result in completely restored and rehabilitated airpark. At this stage, defense forces have already received the French air surveillance radars, mobile command point and “Mistal-3” rackets. We also actively implement the agreement signed with the largest Israeli military industry envisaging the modernization of air defense systems”.
He dwelt on the NATO inter-operability program and security of the country noting that Georgia is ready to take final steps for accession to the EU and NATO and end Russian aggression in the country. “I am glad and honored to enjoy the opportunity to contribute in this process and make it irreversible”.
The candidate for the Justice Minister, G. Lortkipanidze congratulated the attendees on the 100th jubilee of the Constitution and informed MPs about the Ministry priorities and activity. He dwelt on the enforcement of the ECHR decision and informed the Committees about the bills developed by the Ministry.
As of the plans, he stressed the construction of the Public Service Halls and Public Centers for simplification and accessibility to public services.
The candidate for the State Minister, T. Akhvlediani introduced the part of the Governmental program based on the peacekeeping initiative and stability. She stressed the gross human rights violations in the occupied regions, humanitarian and social crisis and importance of the peaceful resolution of the challenges. “We set as the priority to enhance the non-recognition policy at the international theatre, full de-occupation and human-oriented reconciliation and engagement policy envisaging the approximation of conflict-divided societies, facilitation of restoration of dialogue and creation of dignified conditions for these people”.
The candidate for the Interior Minister, Vakhtang Gomelauri reported on the reforms, engagement of the Ministry in countering the pandemic, and types and statistics of the registered crimes.
He stressed the importance of the reforms and mentioned reforming of the criminal policy and updated armament for the police, qualification of the personnel, stricter drug policy etc. “Within the reform of the criminal police, we have set up the Main Office for Juveniles in Tbilisi Police Department to respond to the administrative offenses and crimes committed by the juveniles in the Capital. The Ministry keeps the creation of the environment adjusted to the juveniles, updating the armament of the police personnel and implementing the stricter drug policy. In 2020, 71 drug dealers have been punished by criminal responsibility for the sale of the drugs. The key challenge in this direction was the internet sale of drugs, which is an increasing tendency in the world. In response, we have set up the specialized division in the Central Criminal Police Department”.
He dwelt on the patrol and border police, rescue service, and new services by Service Agency.
The candidates answered the questions concerning their spheres of activity.
After the report, the Committees approved the vote of confidence.
New Cabinet Led by Giorgi Gakharia Wins a Vote of Confidence in Parliament
The Government of Georgia led by Giorgi Gakharia wins a unanimous vote of confidence, with 85 votes in favor, in the Parliament.
The Cabinet features one new member, namely Gocha Lortkipanidze who will serve as Justice Minister.
The legislative body also voted in favor of the 2021-2024 Government Program: Toward Building a European State.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Opposition Reject Election Results, Hit the Streets
Georgia’s major opposition parties, including the United National Movement of ex-President Saakashvili, European Georgia, Lelo, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Labor Party, hit the streets on Sunday afternoon, rejecting the preliminary results of the October 31 parliamentary vote, that forecast the Georgian Dream to form a third consecutive government.
The opposition claims the Georgian Dream “usurped power,” and rigged the elections, citing, among others, discrepancies in a number of final vote tallies. The key local election watchdogs said they identified the discrepancies in some 7 or 8% of the summary protocols. The opposition politicians argue the united opposition forces garnered more votes in total than the incumbent ruling party.
Protesting the “stolen elections,” the opposition leaders and protesters are rallying towards the hilltop residence of GD leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, after blocking Rustaveli Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the Georgian capital, outside the Parliament.
In the meantime, Gigi Ugulava of the European Georgia party, announced the opposition parties will organize a large-scale rally on November 8.
Georgia held Saturday’s parliamentary vote under a significantly modified system, which changed the composition of 150-member parliament to 120 MPs elected through proportional, party-lists, and 30 elected as majoritarians (from 77/73 ratio) and set threshold at 1% of votes. According to the results of 98.86% precincts counted, Georgian Dream garnered 48,1% of proportional votes, while the United National Movement-led Strength in Unity bloc came second with 27.12%. European Georgia scored third with 3.77%.
Preliminary results also show GD victory in 13 single-mandate constituencies, while runoffs are expected in 17 districts, including in all 8 districts of the capital city of Tbilisi.
MP Irma Inashvili, leader of Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots party, that is at odds with UNM and other opposition parties, also announced that today her party rejects the results, vowing to hold separate rallies.