Georgian Government is sure Parliament will overcome President's Veto
Georgian government is sure that the parliament will overcome the veto and the law developed by the ruling team will soon enter into the force.
The Georgian deputy Prime Ministe Kakha Kaladze made an announcement, in which he mentioned, that the veto of Geogrian President on a law on the National Bank is not a problem.
" I think there will be no problem, the parliament will discuss the issue and the draft initiated from our side will enter into the force. This was achieved after consultations,"- the Georgian deputy Prime Ministe Kakha Kaladze said to Journalists.
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.
ANAKLIA DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIUM AND PRINCIPAL INTERNATIONAL INVESTOR FILE ARBITRATION CLAIMS AGAINST GEORGIA
Claims Seek Substantial Damages Caused by Government’s Campaign to Undermine Port Project
that would have created Economic Prosperity for Georgia
TBILISI, GEORGIA, 30 July, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) and Mr. Bob Meijer, one of its
principal investors, on 29 July filed separate arbitration claims against Georgia in relation to their rights in the
Anaklia Port Project. Together the two claims seek to recover the value of ADC's and Mr. Meijer’s rights in the
Project. The value of those rights is substantial, in excess of US$ 1.0 billion, representing ADC's and Mr. Meijer's
losses directly resulting from the Georgian Government’s campaign to undermine the Anaklia Port Project.
ADC was awarded the Anaklia Port Project in 2016. The Project (together with an associated Special Economic
Zone) is intended to make Georgia a strategic hub for regional trade between Asia and Europe, creating
thousands of jobs and generating substantial taxes and revenue for the government, and revitalize the Georgian
economy at a time when the nation most needs an economic boost. There is no other port facility or location
along the Black Sea in Georgia other than Anaklia that is capable of fulfilling the economic promise of a worldclass deep water port.
The Anaklia Development Consortium, which was established to develop the Anaklia Port Project, is comprised
of both Georgian and international investors. ADC is bringing its claim in the International Court of Arbitration
of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Mr. Meijer, a prominent Dutch businessman with a long
record of successful investments in Georgia and worldwide, is bringing his claim in the International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), under the Georgia-Netherlands Bilateral Investment Treaty.
Following a two-year campaign by the current Government and the ruling Georgian Dream Party to block ADC’s
efforts to succeed with the Project, in January 2020 the Government unlawfully terminated the agreement and,
in the process, caused ADC and it investors to lose the full sum of their investments, denying them future profits
and causing them to be damaged financially and reputationally.
Even though the Government had originally awarded ADC the sole right to develop the Project following a
competitive and transparent selection process, and even though it was understood that Government support
was necessary for the success of the Project in order to enable ADC to attract international investors and
financing, in fact the Government changed course and undertook an overt and covert campaign to ensure the
Project could never succeed.
Representatives of the Government on numerous occasions criticized the Project and its shareholders, publicly
and in private meetings, telling potential investors and lenders that the Government did not wish them to
Anaklia Development Consortium.
participate, and making clear to U.S. government officials that the Project did not have the support of the
Georgian government. This aggressive campaign against the Anaklia Port Project by the Government caused
great damage to ADC and its investors.
Among the illegal and unethical actions of the Government and the Georgian Dream party was the launching of
a baseless money laundering criminal investigation against Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze, two
prominent and successful Georgia businessmen who are principal investors in the Project. The intention of the
slanderous allegations against Messrs. Khazaradze and Japaridze was to discourage any investors or lenders
from supporting the Project. Such support was necessary for the Project to proceed. Unfortunately the
Government’s campaign succeeded, insofar as investors and lenders withdrew their interest and declined to
participate in the Project without a clear statement of support by the Georgian Government. Both the Public
Defender of Georgia and Transparency International Georgia subsequently found that the charges against
Messrs. Khazaradze and Japaridze were without merit.
The following statement from ADC reflects the views of ADC and Mr. Meijer:
“The investors of the Anaklia Development Consortium continue to believe firmly that the Anaklia Port
Project and Special Economic Zone should be allowed to proceed, and that the Project will create
unequalled economic opportunity for Georgia. However, that success can only come with the active
support of the Government, and we remain committed to finding a way to get this Project back on track.
“In the meantime, ADC and its investors must protect their interests. While we have made every effort
to engage with the Government to explore possible solutions, we have been rebuffed at every step.
“In a patriotic gesture, ADC paused in its filing of these claims during the height of the Covid-19
pandemic, so as not to burden the Government with any distractions as it fought to protect Georgians.
“Regrettably, the Government is forcing this decision to commence arbitration, and the Government
must bear the responsibility for its consequences.
“The Government would have everyone believe that it terminated the investment agreement because
ADC failed to meet certain obligations under the contract. In reality, the Government deliberately acted
to ensure that ADC could not succeed with Project development. In this instance the Government abused
its power because the ruling party and its leader decided the Project’s success was contrary to their own
political and economic interests. In the process, the people of Georgia are victimized by the
“The reversal of the Government’s support for the Anaklia Port Project and ADC, and its aggressive
campaign to undermine the Project, ADC and its investors (driven at the behest of the Georgian Dream
party and its leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili) seem to be driven by several motives but there are two obvious
ones. First, it would appear that Mr. Ivanishvili may have a vested interest in the development of the
free industrial zone connected to Poti Port. Second, it would seem that Mr. Ivanishvili and Georgian
Dream are sensitive to pressure from Russia, which has made clear its opposition to a deep water port at
Anaklia (which is very close to the de facto border with Russian-occupied Abkhazia) and the western
support that would come with it.
“By its campaign to undermine the Anaklia Port Project and force it into arbitration, the Government is
damaging the Georgian economy. Beyond the matter of foregoing the economic benefits that the
Anaklia Port and economic zone would generate or the unnecessary considerable financial liability, the
Government is in effect discouraging international investors from pursuing any investments in
Georgia, facilitating the further loss of jobs and revenues by the country and stalling the momentum for
placing Georgia on the map as a regional trade hub between Asia and Western Europe.
“Finally, the manner in which the Government has conducted itself in its attacks on ADC, its investors
and the Project itself could be in violation of one of the conditions of the proposed U.S. government aid
to Georgia, under which 15% of the aid is withheld until the U.S. Secretary of State can affirm that the
Government of Georgia has been, according to the legislation, ‘protecting the rights of foreign
businesses to operate free from harassment and to fully realize all due commercial and financial benefits
resulting from investments made in Georgia.’
“The responsibility for these consequences rests solely with the current Government and the ruling
NOTE: ADC and Mr. Meijer are represented by a team led by Mr. Andy Moody at Baker McKenzie in London and
Ms. Ketevan Kvartskhava at BLC in Tbilisi.
Further details can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com
The Embassy of Switzerland welcomes the adoption of the constitutional amendments
The Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia welcomes the adoption of the constitutional amendments and trusts that the new electoral system will increase the representation of the different layers of society, including the minorities, within the new Parliament. Switzerland will assist Georgia to set up a fair and transparent electoral campaign, based on mutual respect and constructive compromise, and calls on all political actors and media to refrain from personal attacks, including against the members of the diplomatic corps.
Comment by the MFA of Georgia in response to the comment of the Information and Press Department of the MFA of the RF
On May, 26th, while Georgia was receiving congratulations from the neighboring and partner countries honoring its Independence Day, the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation disseminated another falsehood on the functioning of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Georgia.
The above-mentioned disinformation is of particular concern in the context when activity of the Center is widely recognized as one of the vital factors in successful struggle of the Government of Georgia against the coronavirus pandemic and functioning of the Center is highly appreciated by the Georgian society along with international community.
Georgia’s relevant agencies have repeatedly commented on the details of the status and functioning of the Center, however Russia’s constant provocations have forced us to address the issue again since we see the urgent need to attract attention of the international community to the Russia’s fabrications and rude attempts to diminish the role of successful institution contributing to the security of Georgia and throughout the entire region.
The Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center functions as an integral laboratory unit of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health. The facility was launched in 2013 and represents the highest level institution of the Laboratory Network of Disease Epidemiological Surveillance which, itself, is a referral center of the Georgian Public Health System.
Construction of the facility started in 2004 based on a framework Agreement signed by the US and the Georgian Governments in 1997 as well as Agreement of 2002 between the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Georgia “On Cooperation in the field of prevention of the introduction of pathogenesis and experience related to biological weapons development.”
The Lugar Center, along with its equipment were fully transmitted to the ownership of the Government of Georgia and since 2018 the Lugar Center along with the laboratory network have been fully financed by the Government of Georgia. Structurally, the Lugar Center is a subdivision of the Center for Disease Control and a part of the Georgian Healthcare System.
The Lugar Center unites the 2nd and the 3rd level biosecurity laboratories equipped by the modern equipment with the aim to timely detect and identify the pathogens that cause dangerous diseases in humans and animals based on the principle of “United health”.
Three virology (poliomyelitis, influenza and measles) laboratories accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) operate in the Center. Besides, under the international quality control, the following laboratories operate at the facility: the diagnosis of rotavirus, invasive meningitis, malaria, antibiotic resistance, diphtheria and salmonellosis. The Center has an international ISO accreditation for the clinical laboratory research.
Laboratory capabilities of the Lugar Center are also used by the Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture (LMA) and the Eliava Research Institute of Bacteriophage. In addition, the Center’s capabilities are widely used by masters and doctoral students from relevant universities of various countries, including neighboring ones, to conduct scientific research.
Any research or activity at the facilities of the Center are carried out by the relevant experts exceptionally under the coordination and management of the competent Georgian agencies. The American partners have no role in setting the tasks for the Center, moreover they do not possess the possibility to conduct an independent research.
Georgia is fully committed to its international obligations under the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons, including the requirements and provisions of the Convention on the Management of Biological Laboratories. Within the 7th Review Conference, the Member States have developed a mechanism for transparency and confidence-building – so called peer exercise, which appears to be the only instrument for transparency.
Within such mechanism and in order to ensure the transparency of the Richard Lugar Centre, Georgia hosted an international peer exercise at the facilities of the Centre on November 14-15, 2018. The above-mentioned event was organized jointly by the Georgian and German sides and Security and Bio experts from up to 20 countries were able to participate in this peer exercise. It is worth to mention that the invitation to participate has been also extended to the Russian experts, however a strict refusal of their participation has been received. This very fact clearly proves the ostentatious interest of the RF in operations at the laboratory.
On December 4-7, 2018, a meeting of the Member States of the Biological Weapons Convention took place at the UN Geneva office, where the report on the functioning of the Lugar Centre drafted by international experts gained a full approval and support.
Despite the above-mentioned, the Russian Foreign Ministry challenges the findings of the leading experts after their visit at the facility. Furthermore, based on the fake disinformation of suspicious “experts”, false allegations are widely spread specially in the Russian media sources thus clearly underlying incompetence and aggressive nature of their arguments.
As for the provision of the comment by the Information Department of the Russian MFA regarding the possible visit of the Russian experts to the Lugar Centre, it is noteworthy to mention that Georgia, as a responsible Member State of the Convention on Prohibition of Biological Weapons, is and always has been ready, to host competent Russian experts, who holds the relevant level security permission to access the facilities of the laboratory. However, such visits might be conducted within the framework of the Convention and in full compliance with the existing mechanism. There was such possibility in 2018, although Georgia is open to discuss the modalities of the peer exercise/visit with Member-States upon new initiative. At the same time, Georgia does not see the possibility for one-side unilateral visit taking into account Russia's rough and aggressive disinformation campaign with the only possible aim to diminish the functioning and researches at the facilities of the Lugar Centre.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the international community, primarily on the Member States of the Biological Weapons Convention, to assess the aggressive statements of the Russian Governmental Agencies toward Georgia; to condemn clear disinformation and to oppose the attempts to undermine the successful functioning of the institution exponential for the whole region. Despite the fact that Georgia does not have any bilateral legal commitment to the RF on the transparency of the Centre, the Georgian side expresses its readiness to host next peer exercise within the frame of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons with participation of multinational team, including relevant Russian experts.