22-25 February, Georgia – The President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Anders Knape, will pay an official visit to the country. Accompanied by Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer, the President will meet in Tbilisi with the Mayor Kakha Kaladze, the Deputy Chairman of Parliament Kakhaber Kuchava, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lasha Darsalia, the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Maya Tskitishvili, and the Public Defender Nino Lomjaria. Meetings are also scheduled in Gori with the Mayor of the city and the Governor of Shida Kartli region, as well as with the Georgian Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and with the members of the Georgian delegation to the Congress.
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.
CEC SUMMARIZED RESULTS OF MAYORAL ELECTIONS IN TBILISI AND THE ELECTIONS HELD THROUGH PROPORTIONAL CONTEST
Today, at the meeting, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia summarized the results of Tbilisi mayoral elections and Tbilisi Sakrebulo elections of October 21, 2017 held through proportional electoral system. According to election results, Kakha Kaladze, the candidate nominated by "Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia" is elected as Tbilisi Mayor with 204 061 votes (51.09%).
Today, at the meeting, CEC Chairperson and Commission Secretary signed the summary protocols.
If persons working with me are engaged in corruption, they will directly become my enemies, - said newly elected mayor Kakha Kaladze on PalitraNews TV company. According to him, there will be a very strong response to corruption.
"The person, who dares to do this, will become my enemy. I can directly tell such people that they will go to prison. I will do my best not to disappoint the citizens who voted for me," Kaladze said.
The parliamentary minority summons Kakha Kaladze, the Energy Minister at Parliament over the Gazprom issue. According to Gigi Tsereteli, the agreement was made at today’s meeting.
"We discussed to summon Kakha Kaladze, the Energy Minister at Parliament over the Gazprom agreement, and it probably will soon inform the government," - said Gigi Tsereteli.
Within the framework of official visit to Minsk, Kakha Kaladze will meet Gazprom-Export Company representatives.
According to the Ministry of Energy, Vice Prime Minister and Energy Minister will transit of natural gas from Russian to Armenia.
Georgian side gets 10% of the total volume of the natural gas transmitted to Armenia through Georgia. Gazprom offers the Georgian side money in exchange for the transit.
fter endorsement of the agenda, the floor was given to MPs. Critical statements by Minority MPs were concerning Rustavi2 proceedings, economic situation, economic program of the Government, legislative initiatives of the PM announced yesterday and the changes to the law on occupation. Majority MPs responded to the criticism. Levan Koberidze in response to Rustavi2 statement, state – “Rustavi2 issue is the subject of private property right and each of us, the whole team would like to accomplish the case to prevent remaining questions. Our primary task is to define the foreign and domestic course of the country and we are all equally responsible for the results we will encounter”.
The Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, Irakli Kovzanadze echoed the new legislative initiatives of the Government. The Government made an important decision on dollarization to have the positive impact on macro-economic stability. “I would like to assure my colleagues that the measures announced by the PM are to be hailed and serve as a good example of cooperation”.
The Chair of the Health Care and Social Issues Committee, Akaki Zoidze introduced the increasing statistic of tobacco usage and initiated prohibition of smoking in Tbilisi and Kutaisi Parliaments. Manana Kobakhidze in response to accusations by Minority, reminded the estimations by the PACE Committee. “The Committee stated that Georgia is a model of European choice in the region. These conclusions were made deriving from the estimations by CoE Observation Mission, the last report of which was introduced at the sitting”.
After the statements, MPs resumed with agenda.
Four draft resolutions were introduced by the Chair of Procedural Issues and Rules Committee, Giorgi Kakhiani – termination of authority ahead of time for MPs: Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Kakha Kaladze, Giorgi Gakharia and Sandra Roelofs. The authority of Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Kakha Kaladze, Giorgi Gakharia is terminated due to their appointment on the Governmental positions and authority of Sandra Roelofs is terminated on the basis of the personal statement.
MPs also considered sundry documents for ratification: Loan Agreement between Georgia and ADB (ordinary transactions)(internal resource mobilization improvement for inclusive growth program – sub-program 3).
According to the reporter, the Deputy-Finance Minister, Giorgi Kakauridze, ADB, in view of state and private investment development, will allocate 100 ml USD for Georgia. The Loan Agreement between Georgia and IBRD of September 3, 2014 (E-transmission line enhancement project), Change N1 was introduced by G. Kakauridze. IBRD financially supports E-transmission line enhancement project with allocation of 60 ml USD loan. Loan duration is 25 years, 10 years amongst which are preferential and the interest rate is variable based on LIBOR. The single administration commission fee of the loan constitutes 0.25%.
The Parliamentary Secretary of the Government, Shalva Tadumadze introduced the Agreement between Georgia and EU on Exchange and Protection Security Procedures of Classified Information. The Agreement is a frame document and Georgia has signed similar documents with 17 countries, including EU and NATO member states. Ratification will facilitate to effective cooperation between EU and Georgia.
MPs considered two draft resolutions on expediency and inexpediency of further consideration of the drafts initiated by the preceding Parliament, introduced by the Chair of Legal Issues Committee, Eka Beselia. 32 drafts were considered expedient to be considered and 9 drafts – inexpedient.
The Agrarian Issues, the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, the Sector Economy and Economic Policy, the Regional Policy and Self-Government and the Budget and Finance Committees discussed the Governmental Program “Freedom, Rapid Development, Welfare” for 2016-2020 and the composition of the Government introduced by the PM candidate, Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
MPs heard the candidates for the Minister of Finance, Dimitri Kumsiashvili, Minister of Energy, Kakha Kaladze, Minister of Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection, Gigla Agulashvili and the Minister of Regional Development, Zurab Alavidzespeaking about implemented activity and the future plans.
The priority of the Government still remain – facilitation to petty and average business, encouragement of entrepreneurship and start-up business, agricultural development and integration of the country into the world economic system. Simultaneously, the Government will further improve state social programs, ensure new job opportunities and overcome poverty. Ministries will be guided under the 4-point Governmental plan envisaging economic and education reforms, special arrangement plan and public administration reform.
Mr. Dimitri Kumsiashvili spoke about main principles, tasks and plans serving the basis for activity of the Finance Ministry. “We have come with concrete promises and we will reflect it in the budget. Hence, incomes to the budget will be distributed in fair manner”. Financing of rapid economic development and economic stimulating projects will be the main priority along with social responsibility assumed by the team. He emphasized tax policy and foreign and domestic debt. The overall debt towards GDP constitutes 41.2% where 39% is the foreign debt. The debt structure is as well important where 78% is the foreign and 22% is the domestic debt. The average weighted interest rate constitutes 2.1% and coverage area – more than 10 years. The domestic debt shall be increased which shall be jointly considered when discussing the state debt strategy. The debts have pros and cons and we shall find the balance between the currency reserve supply and currency risk reduction”. Georgia recently has become the only country with no reduced rating by the international rating organizations, “which means that our economic policy was correct”.
As the candidate of the Minister of Economic and Sustainable Development, Giorgi Gvakharia stated, Georgia has the best results in economic growth despite of challenges of rapid economic growth, increase of employment, reduction of trade deficit. These are the challenges that shall be converted into economic opportunities. The private sector shall be enhanced to contribute its mite in rapid economic development. The Ministry will strictly adhere to the 4-point plan.
Kakha Kaladze spoke about energy as one of the main direction for economic development. He emphasized implemented and future projects in energy sphere and stated about 3 billion GEL to be invested in energy for infrastructural development, for gas storage which is particularly important and for increase of transit role of the country. All the villages will be further supplied with electricity and gas.
The candidate for the Minister of Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili spoke about policy and main directions in the sphere. The primary target is to increase self-provision and production of export-oriented goods. He spoke about solution ways for the challenges the field encounters. As he stated, all the state programs and international projects onset will be maintained, including state programs on cooperative enhancement, agriculture development strategy will be developed and particular attention will be attached to harvest technology development as 20% of loss of harvest is related to unavailability of technologies.
Mr. Gigla Agulashvili spoke about the mechanisms and reforms to reduce environmental degradation. He spoke about update of the legislative base. The reforms concern waste management, forest and mineral issues, air quality improvement, protected areas etc.
The candidate for the Minister of Regional Development, Zurab Alavidze spoke about the 4-year priorities envisaged under the 4-point plan of the Government, one of the points of which concerns special arrangement, which is the main framework of development of the country. He overviewed highway and road projects. The Ministry also plans development of tourist infrastructure, rehabilitation of the roads leading to the cultural heritage, implementation of water supply and sewerage systems etc.
Georgian Prime Minister will have two new Vice Prime Ministers in the new Cabinet of Ministers. As Giorgi Kvirikashvili said, Dimitri Kumsishvili will be the First Vice-Prime Minister and he also is presented as the Finance Minister.
“Dimitri Kumsishvili is an experienced financier, effective manager and has an experience working in different public bodies. He made a lot of important projects, including free trade negotiations with China, switching to digital broadcasting, the inventory of the property and creating techno parks,”-Giorgi Kvirikashvili said.
According to the Acting Prime Minister, Kakha Kaladze will be the Vice-Prime Minister as well as the Minister of Energy.