Georgian parliamentary speaker Irakli Kobakhidze resigned from his post on June 21 following overnight clashes between police and demonstrators outside of the parliament in Tbilisi.
A statement on Kobakhidze's resignation was read out to journalists in Tbilisi on June 21 by Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, the secretary-general of the ruling Georgian Dream party, after a meeting of the party leadership.
Although Kobakhidze was standing in the briefing room while the statement was being read out to journalists, he left the room without making any comment.
Georgian opposition leaders earlier on June 21 vowed to return to the streets of Tbilisi on the evening of June 21 to call for the resignations of I. Kobakhidze and Georgia's interior minister.
Demonstrators also are demanding early parliamentary elections in response to the political crisis that has erupted following the overnight violence.
Grigol Vashadze, chairman of the United National Movement party, called for demonstrators to gather for a rally beginning at 7 p.m. local time near the parliament building where the clashes occurred overnight.
Irakli Kobakhidze was elected as the Speaker of the Parliament on November 18, 2016.
MP Archil Talakvadze is expected to replace I. Kobakhidze.
On 10 October, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia released a statement on the constitutional reform in the country. In the statement, it expressed its agreement with the opinion of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, which positively assessed the reform.
“From early this year, the European Union voiced its expectation that the introduction of extensive amendments to the Constitution of Georgia would strengthen democracy and the rule of law, based on wide-ranging and inclusive consultations,” the EU said.
“We welcomed the commitment of the Georgian Parliament to consult the Venice Commission and fully incorporate its recommendations.”
The full text of the statement, which the EU Delegation issued in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Georgia, can be accessed here.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting today with Nicholas Logothetis, a co-owner of Libra Group, an international conglomerate, and informed him of Georgia's investment opportunities. The discussion involved prospects of tourism, energy, and transport cooperation. Giorgi Kvirikashvili described to the representative of this large business group Georgia's tourism potential and upcoming infrastructural projects. Libra Group has numerous subsidiaries in 35 countries across the globe, with its main sectors of interest including aviation, energy, finances, hospitality services, and real estate.
The President of Georgia calls to Georgian Parliament to enhance supervisory function on Gazprom agreement and present the plan, how the risks and threats will be minimized.
According to Giorgi Margvelashvili, additional political risks on energy security we may receive. The President of Georgia believes that energy sector and economical interests was worsened.
Georgian President recommends Georgian Parliament to strengthen media security mechanisms and create more solid defense guarantee. This statement was made by Giorgi Margvelashvili today.
According to him, free and pluralistic media determines the level of democracy in any country. As the President said, nobody should have questions on media freedom quality.
“We should not have unexplained closed-rated talk shows, secret surveillance, blackmail and threats against media representatives; Journalists should not have fired,”- the President of Georgia said.
The Majority Leader, the Deputy-Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Zviad Kvachantiradze and the Deputy Vladimi Achba host the Delegation of Paraguayan Congress.
The parties discussed bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation in international formats. As Z. Kvachantiradze stated, the guests were well informed about ongoing reforms and challenges in Georgia. “They promised to render all kind of assistance in international format. They promised to inquire the case from the executive Government related to the Resolution initiated by Georgia to UN General Assembly since 2008 on “Status of the IDPs and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and Tskhinvali Region/ South Ossetia, Georgia”.
As we know, Paraguay abstains from support during the year”. As noted, the four-point agreement on bilateral relations is under development covering trade-economic and cultural aspects, as well as visa free regime for diplomatic and special service passports.
“After accomplishment of trilingual translation of the Document, we will actively continue relations to sign the agreement”. The Member of Paraguayan Congress, on behalf of Paraguay, expressed support to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.
PACE co-rapporteurs welcome Georgian authorities’ willingness to seek Venice Commission’s opinion on Constitutional Court amendments
Strasbourg, 10.05.2016 - At the end of their visit to Georgia, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) co-rapporteurs for the country, Boriss Cilevics (Latvia, SOC) and Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE), have welcomed the intention of the Chairperson of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Georgian Parliament to send the proposed amendments to the laws governing the Constitutional Court to the Venice Commission for opinion, before they are discussed in second reading in the parliament.
“This should allay any fears that, when adopted, these amendments would inadvertently hinder the efficient functioning of the Constitutional Court. The important role of the Constitutional Court as an independent and impartial arbiter should be ensured. By being asked for an opinion in the next couple of days, the Venice Commission would be able to adopt its opinion at its June plenary session, which in turn would allow the parliament to take the recommendations of the Venice Commission into account when adopting the amendments in final reading before the end of this parliamentary session,” said the two co-rapporteurs.
Referring to the two separate proposals for Constitutional Amendments to change the current mixed proportional-majoritarian election system, the rapporteurs regretted that the different political forces had not been able to reach a consensus on the date these changes would be implemented. “As we have said previously, since 2007 the ruling majority and opposition, irrespective of their members, have been unable to reach a consensus on the electoral system, which has been a permanent source of tension in the political environment. We therefore urge all political forces to compromise now, in order to avoid that the same exact question will return during the run-up to the 2020 elections.”
The two co-rapporteurs also noted the many proposals for changes to the electoral code that are currently circulating. While welcoming any proposals that would increase public trust in the conduct of the elections, they also stressed the importance of the stability of the electoral framework in the months before the elections. They called on all political forces and other stakeholders to refrain from any actions or discourse that could negatively affect the democratic conduct and public trust in the forthcoming elections. “With the 2012 elections, Georgia set an example for the region. That trend should be continued in 2016,” said the co-rapporteurs.
During their visit the co-rapporteurs met with several representatives of minorities and organisations working on minority issues. They urged the authorities to continue unabated their efforts to fight discrimination and prejudice, and to strengthen tolerance for minorities in Georgian society. “This is especially important in the context of the forthcoming elections, with the risk of instrumentalisation of minority issues for ulterior motives, including by interests outside of the country,” they concluded.
The rapporteurs will visit Georgia again during the pre-electoral period in the framework of the observation of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, in order to assess the pre-electoral environment.
The Speaker of Georgian Parliament once more elucidated the procedures of ratification of the Government. “I would like to echo the yesterday’s events. As you know, as of the current situation, Georgia has the acting Government. The Prime Minister, the Ministers further continue implementing of their functions. Yesterday, the President issue the relevant Ordinance and huts, the Constitutional process has been onset for formation of new Government. Now it is time for the Parliamentary majority to be involved and make the decision, as well as to select new candidate of Prime Minister. Parliament has 6-7 days”.
Tomorrow, the consultations will start with the Factions and majority. “After consultations, in line with the Constitution, we shall nominate the candidate of the Prime Minister to the President. Afterwards, the Prime Minister shall select the Government members and develop the Governmental program to submit to the Parliament. The Parliament shall discuss the vote of confidence to the Government”.
As the Speaker presumes, next week full composition of the Government will possible to be ratified. It is the Constitutional process often taking place in Parliamentary model systems. “There are the countries, having the acting Government for months. I do not think it will take months for us to solve this issue but in general, we want everyone to know – citizens and international organizations that it is within the Constitutional frame”.
The Government functions, the situation is stabile. “We, the Parliament will do our best to prevent impediments in this process. Now, we are in extraordinary session regime. Next week, we will convene one more session regardless of the situation concerning the legislative acts”.
As after the session MPs became aware, the extraordinary session to ratify the Government will be held on December 29.
The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili announced, that he has signed the choice of Georgian Parliament’s majority’s choice.
During the special briefing Margvelashvili stressed, that e has immediately supported the decision of Irakli Garibashvili about resignation and also supported the candidacy of Giorgi Kvirikashvili on the post of Prime Minister of Georgia.
The president also added, that he has already sent the signed document to the Georgian Parliament.
After the session of Georgian Parliament’s session, former Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili announced, that he will neither be the chairman of political party “Georgian Dream – Demoratic Movement”. Irakli Garibashvili wished good luck to Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
“I think the majority has made a good decision and has chosen a great candidate. Giorgi Kvirikashvili is a good friend of mine and I wish him to succeed in his work,”- the former Prime Minister of Georgia said.