Shalva Papuashvili elected Parliament Speaker

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 29 December 2021 15:08

Georgian Parliament has elected Shalva Papuashvili, Chairman at Parliamentary Committee for Education and Science, as the new Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday, replacing Kakha Kuchava. Eighty-eight MPs backed his candidacy, while one MP voted against.

In his address, Papuashvili thanked the parliamentary majority for nominating for the post of Parliament Chairman. He said: “This is the greatest honor and responsibility before the public and our political team. Correspondingly, I will do my best to serve our country and people with dignity.”

“This year has been one of the most difficult years for our country since independence. The public simultaneously faced occupation, pandemic, economic challenges, and forced polarization. Despite these difficult challenges, under our team’s leadership: We kept the peace without retreating; we overcame several serious waves of the pandemic; we restored the country’s economy to pre-pandemic levels; we created a solid foundation for the political stability of the country by conducting the local self-government elections appropriately.

Our doctors, our policemen, our soldiers, and our teachers were the allies of the Georgian people and authorities in dealing with all these challenges. Many thanks to them and to all the people who stood by the state during this difficult time,” Papuashvili underscored.

He pledged to “stand guard over parliamentary sovereignty as the Parliament is the institution in which the power of the people – the source of governmental authority – is expressed to the greatest extent.”

“I exercise the will of the majority of the people of Georgia. However, as chairman of Parliament, I will be the guarantor of the involvement and participation of the opposition elected by the people. Moreover, despite the existing confrontation, we have a good experience of cooperating with the opposition in this Parliament, which is related to a successful electoral reform. Against this backdrop, the boycott of parliamentary activities by a part of the opposition is particularly disappointing, especially given that the Parliament of Georgia has taken a central place in Georgian politics as a result of the reform of the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament carried out by our team.

With the new democratic standards, the multi-party Parliament has robust levers to oversee the executive branch of government. The role of the parliamentary opposition has increased in an unprecedented manner. All this creates special conditions for businesslike parliamentary discussion. Integration into NATO and the European Union is our main foreign policy priority. As you are aware, our political team has an ambitious goal to apply for EU membership in 2024. Precisely for this reason, over the next three years, we are facing an agenda laden with legislative reforms, which should play a pivotal role in our country’s legislative and institutional rapprochement with the European Union and bring the country’s democratic development to a new level.

Our national objective is to unite the country and bring back our Abkhazian and Ossetian sisters and brothers. And this Parliament will be complete only when the elected representatives from Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region will sit in this hall together with us. This is the goal that must unite each and every one of us. We have a distinguished country with dignified people, a unique history, a rich culture, and a church that stands guard over spirituality. This country and these people deserve unity, prosperity, progress, and development. And that is precisely why it is our special duty to dedicate our thoughts and deeds to this goal. This will be my main objective as the chairman of Parliament,” he underscored.


Georgian politicians should fully respect the independent mandate of the Public Defender

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 24 November 2021 13:31

Strasbourg, 23 November 2021 - "Public attacks by members of the Georgian Parliament against the Public Defender of Georgia, in connection with her and her Office’s work related to the imprisonment of the former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, and his hunger strike, are unacceptable", said today Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. 

"I commend the Public Defender and her Office for their efforts to uphold the highest possible standards of protection of the human rights of all individuals over whom the Georgian authorities exercise jurisdiction.

This issue was high on my agenda during the meeting I had yesterday in Strasbourg with the Chairman of the Georgian Dream Party, Irakli Kobakhidze, and the Chair of the Committee on European Integration in the Georgian Parliament, Ms Maka Botchorishvili.

Under the Venice Principles, member states are obliged to effectively protect their Ombudsman institutions from any threats or action aiming at or resulting in any hurdles to their effective functioning. I call on the Georgian authorities to ensure that the Public Defender, her office and associated experts can operate in a climate that is conducive to them carrying out their mandate independently, effectively and safely, in line with the Recommendation (2021)1 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralist and independent national human rights institutions.

It is crucially important first and foremost for all citizens of Georgia but also for Georgia’s international partners, including the Council of Europe, to be able to count on the expertise of an Ombudsman institution which is able to discharge its works independently and effectively, in full compliance with international standards, including the Paris Principles and the Venice Principles. I look forward to discussing this and other human rights issues during my forthcoming visit to Georgia in February next year."


Georgian parliamentary speaker Irakli Kobakhidze resigned from his post

Published in Politics
Friday, 21 June 2019 16:47

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.



EU supports constitutional reform in Georgia

Published in World
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 18:02

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.

PM's Meeting with Libra Group

Published in Politics
Friday, 20 January 2017 11:00

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 Parliament to enhance supervisory function on Gasprom agreement

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 16:05

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

Published in Politics
Friday, 18 November 2016 15:50

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 visit of the Delegation of the Congress of Paraguay in the Georgian Parliament

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 14:31

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

Published in World
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 15:13

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.


Candidate for Priem Minister of Georgia to be named in 7 Days

Published in Politics
Thursday, 24 December 2015 18:59

Majority of Georgian Parliament will name a new candidate for Prime Minister of Georgia in seven days.

The chairman and speaker of Parliament Davis Usupashvili made a statement. According to the Chairman, the majority will submit the candidate to the president, who will officially nominate him.

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