President Margvelashvili Does Not Convene the Special Session of the Parliament

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 10:07

The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has not considered the request of the Chairman of the Parliament, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze to convene the special session and called on the Parliament not to adopt uncoordinated constitutional amendments in the accelerated manner.
"My refusal has a political content. I call on the Parliament not to adopt uncoordinated amendments in the accelerated manner. I encourage the Parliament to return to the recommendations and remarks suggested by the Venice Commission and propose the improved version of the Constitution. Let us create a document of agreement; the document that will be based on consensus and the fundamental principles proposed by the Venice Commission. We should not cause problems for the development of the Georgian democracy.
I hope that in this difficult period, respected deputies, the Parliamentary majority will not get involved in this extremely accelerated regime and continue to discuss the Constitution according to the principles that I have proposed", - stated President Margvelashvili.
The President has also assessed yesterday's decision of the parliamentary majority regarding the constitutional reform as an amendment that aims at reducing the power of the President’s Institute.
"Refusal of a transition to the proportional system - this amendment entirely changes the proposed project of the constitutional reform, which has been discussed by the Georgian society and the Venice Commission.
The name itself - fundamental amendments to the Constitution - and our expectation imply that the Georgian society would have taken another step in improving the Constitution; however, the only fundamental change which was made, was reducing the power of the President’s Institute. This concerns to the indirect presidential election system, functions and rights of a commander-in-chief and abolition of the National Security Council, all included in the draft; overall, all issues that we have been discussing from the very beginning when the Constitutional Commission was formed. This is a version of the Constitution, which has been adopted as a result of the attitude, directed against the President’s Institute”, - pointed out the President.

Tamar Chugoshvili: I would hail if the Speaker of the Parliament and the President of Georgia jointly introduce the Constitutional Changes to the population

Published in Politics
Friday, 05 May 2017 10:14

The Parliament invites the President of Georgia to participate in public consideration of the Constitutional Changes, as stated by the First Vice Speaker, Tamar Chugoshvili.
“Regarding the public consideration of the Constitutional Changes, we have offer to the President – we want to invite him to participate in public considerations. I would hail the fact if the Speaker of the Parliament and the President of Georgia jointly introduce the Constitutional Changes to the population, especially that the President and his Administration have already started this process for a certain period and we start it now deriving from the requirements of the Rules of Procedure. However, we can consolidate these two processes”.

The Parliament of Georgia hosted the Rugby World Cup

Published in Sport
Thursday, 04 May 2017 10:55

Rugby indeed is our game, Georgians’ game”, - the Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze stated in Kutaisi Parliament where the Rugby World Cup was delivered on the occasion of the World Rugby Championship to be held in Georgia
I am glad that the Parliament hosts the World Cup. This event will play the greatest role in Rugby development in Georgia. I would like to thank every person and every organization contributing in development of Rugby in Georgia. “Rugby is our game” – it is not the slogan only. Rugby indeed is our game, Georgians’ game”, - he stated.
According to MP, veteran Rugby player and the former captain of Georgian National Team, Irakli Abuseridze, development of Rugby in Georgia started in 90s. “It is the greatest responsibility for Georgia. I am glad that we host the World Rugby Championship. It is the recognition at the world level. We have obtained approval to hold the Championship in Georgia as a result of two victories at World Cup 2015 and I hope that our country and our Team will achieve the goal we outlined”.
According to the veteran Rugby player, Lekso Gugava, witnessing the prestigious Rugby award is a unique opportunity. “According to the rule, when the country hosts the World Cup, the World Cup serves the pre-visit to the hosting country to start travel and see the representative areas of the country. One of the Cup stops is the Parliament. Today, the Cup was delivered to the Speaker of the Parliament, the Parliament also hosts the veteran Rugby players and everyone can take a photo and see the Cup. It is a unique opportunity”.
Within May 31-June 18, Georgia will for the first time host the World Rugby Championship. The World Rugby Cup arrived on April 17. It travels to the regions of Georgia and within the action, the Rugby Union and veteran players delivered the Cup to the Parliament of Georgia.

Irakli Kobakhidze: Parliament will be absolutely open for business cooperation

Published in Politics
Friday, 28 April 2017 11:10

The Speaker, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze, as commenting to media after the meeting with the Business Association member companies, stated that the Parliament and business sector will actively cooperate in various formats
We had the meeting with Business Association representatives first of all regarding the Constitutional changes. We discussed the issues related to legislative norms regulating economic relations and agreed on various cooperation formats. The Parliament will be absolutely open for business cooperation. First of all, we shall establish an effective format to preliminarily consider all the initiatives related to business interests”.

The joint statement of the Speaker of the Parliament and the President of Belgian Chamber of Representatives

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 13:02

“We agreed that simultaneously with enhancement of EU integration of Georgia, we will further continue close relations between our countries and the inter-Parliamentary links will become more practical and productive”, - the Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze stated after the meeting with the President of Belgian Chamber of Representatives, Mr. Siegfried Bracke. The parties made the joint statement and overviewed the issues discussed at the meeting. 
The Speaker thanked the Belgian counterpart for his contribution in visa liberalization and enhancement of bilateral relations, as well as support of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.
I would like to thank Belgium, our Belgian friends, Parliament of Belgium and personally Mr. Bracke for his contribution in the issues of utmost importance for us. I also would like to thank our Belgian friends for their contribution in support of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia”.
As the Speaker stated, bilateral relations will become even more productive and friendly and underlined importance of enactment of Parliamentary diplomacy. “This year, we celebrate 25 years of our diplomatic relations and we are glad for more productive and friendly relations with Belgium. I would like to underline importance of enactment of Parliamentary diplomacy not only in bilateral relations but in multilateral formats within EU, NATO, CoE and OSCE scopes. In this context, Georgian and Belgian Parliaments have set up the Friendship Groups serving for enhancement of bilateral links”.
According to the Speaker, the parties discussed ongoing reforms in Georgia, including Constitutional reform, foreign political priorities and territorial integrity. “We agreed that simultaneously with enhancement of EU integration of Georgia, we will further enhance our close relations and inter-Parliamentary links will become even more practical and productive”.
According to Mr. Bracke, Georgia and Belgium enjoy the best diplomatic relations and Georgia is the reliable partner in sensitive region. “We are here in Georgia to underline one of the best diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Belgium and Georgia. We shall further cooperate and converse and it is important as you have the deepest roots in democratic system, you are the reliable country in sensitive region and it is another reason for further cooperation. We discussed territorial integrity of Georgia as well. Belgium supports your requirements on territorial integrity. We also discussed inter-Parliamentary cooperation ways. We are interested in cooperation. Having the reliable partner in the region is important for us and we will be glad to assist you in democratic development”. After the joint statement, the parties had the tour in the Parliament.

The dynamics of reforms is not promising-President of Georgia

Published in Politics
Friday, 07 April 2017 16:24

"What we have actually received after five months?
The alleged political threat has turned into a serious problem while the dynamics of reforms is not promising.
Unfortunately, the ruling political party has rejected the dialogue process and isolated itself. Considering this context, I would like to welcome the decision on holding debates today.
I have repeatedly emphasized after the victory in the elections, that I am in service of every single citizen and I am the President of all voters of my country. This applies to you as well - you are the Ministers and the members of Parliament of every single citizen, regardless of political affiliation. I look forward when the winner political power starts seeking for allies, not for enemies; as I believe that unification of the country and society must be the greatest ambition a politician may have. Therefore, I once again call on you to be engaged in a dialogue, and in the institutional cooperation."-said the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili at his annual speech at Parliament

The meetings of PACE Monitoring Committee in the Parliament

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:21

The First Deputy Chairperson, Tamar Chugoshvili and PACE Monitoring Committee discussed implementation of obligations assumed by Georgia 19 years ago. The reporters of the PACE Committee, Boriss CILEVIČS and Kerstin LUNDGREN asked about implementation of obligations on repatriation of Meskhetians assumed upon accession of Georgia to CoE and were cognizant with the implemented activities.
Georgia assumed repatriation of Meskhetians upon accession to CoE 19 years ago as the binding obligation and has made various steps in this direction since. We have adopted the respective laws, envisaging consideration of repatriation of Meskhetians and the persons renouncing from citizenship of other countries are allowed accepting Georgian citizenship. At the meeting, we introduced the particular events we made in this direction. It was noted that this obligation will be covered and considered as implemented by Georgia”, - T. Chugoshvili stated.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Minister on IDPs and Refugees. According to the First Deputy-Foreign Minister, David Zalkaniani, Georgia has in good faith implemented the obligation assumed on repatriation of IDPs. The Monitoring Committee gave the positive estimation to the undertakings by Georgia.

The Plenary Session of the Parliament

Published in Politics
Friday, 10 March 2017 10:59
MPs started with ratification of the international agreements. MPs considered the draft resolution on Grant Agreement between Georgia and USA of January 11, 2016 on “Increasingly Stable, Integrated and Healthy Society” Development Goals, Change N1, introduced by the Deputy-Defense Minister, Giorgi Kakauridze. The change envisages increase of 1 ml USD grant by USAID to 2 ml USD and doubling of allocations for planned activities: grant for civil society direction activities from 800 000 USD to 1 600 000 USD, and grant for vulnerable population civil and economic service development from 200 000 USD to 400 000 USD. Growth tendency was initially envisaged and the agreement provides gradual increase of the amount to 5 ml USD as of 2020. MPs considered the draft resolution on Grant Agreement between Georgia and USA of December 22, 2015 on “Democratic Control and Balance and Accountable Governance” Development Goals, Change N1. The first change envisages increase of the grand by USAID with 6 520 000 USD (from 6,018,000 USD to 12,538,000 USD) and increase of sums for planned activities: rule of law and human rights activities: 6 738 000 USD; democratic governance activities: 4 320 000 USD; civil society activities: 1 40 000 USD. The grant amount shall be annually increased to achieve 25 000 000 USD as of 2020. MPs also considered the Grant Agreement between Georgia and USA of December 22, 2015 Inclusive and Sustainable Growth Development Goals, Change N1. The total amount of sum shall increase with 28 ml USD and thus, sums for six directions shall change: conflict alleviation and reconciliation activities: increase with 2 ml USD; education activities: increase with 1 ml USD; infrastructure activities: increase with 2,5 ml USD; agriculture – 1,7 ml USD; private sector competitiveness – 6 102 000 USD and environment – 1 668 000 USD. MPs also considered the draft resolution on Financial Agreement between Georgia and EIB on Agricultural Product Production/Processing/Sale Chain. G. Kakauridze noted that EIB allocation constitutes 100 ml EURO to be consumed till 2021. “The loan term is 12 years, 5 of which are preferential. The interest rate is in GEL and can be established upon each tranche. We will select the interest rate acceptable for us and we will have opportunity to make decision about fixed or varied interest rate”. MPs considered more than 10 international agreements.

The Plenary Session of the Parliament

Published in Politics
Thursday, 02 March 2017 13:35
The extraordinary plenary session was convened in line with the paragraph 2 of the Article 61 of the Constitution and on the basis of the Decree of the President. The session was presided by the First Deputy Chairperson, Tamar Chugoshvili. Prior to agenda, T. Chugoshvili made the statement on Visa Free Travel Agreement to be signed in the EP today and congratulated Georgian population with this day. “Today, the European Parliament is to sign the Visa Free Travel Agreement with Georgia, which is the paramount event for our country and our citizens and the final state of visa liberalization. Soon, in the end of March, Georgian citizens will be allowed traveling visa free to EU, which is of utmost importance and I would like to congratulate Georgian citizens with this important date”. MPs resumed with agenda issues. The draft on LEPL Operative-Technical Agency was considered with the III reading introduced by the Deputy Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Gedevan Popkhadze. It is the final version, he noted, envisaging set up of the Operative-Technical Agency under State Security Service. The Head of the LEPL shall be appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister. The candidate shall be selected by the Ad Hoc Commission composed of 7 members: Head of SSS – Chair of the Commission, Deputy Chair of Supreme Court, Chair of the Legal Issues Committee, Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Public Defender and Government member. The draft envisages selection of the at least 3 candidates to the position of the Head of the LEPL by SSS Head. The candidate approved by the Commission shall be submitted to the PM. The Committee noted that the draft reflects the remarks expressed at the II reading. According to one of the changes, the Head of LEPL shall appoint and dismiss the First Deputy and Deputies. According to the draft for the II reading, the Head of the LEPL should nominate the candidates to the Head of SSS. Another remark concerns approval of the Regulations of the LEPL – the Regulations shall be approved by the Government instead of the SSS Head. The costs of the LEPL shall be considered in the Budget under separate program code. The Chair of the Legal Issues Committee, Eka Beselia made elucidations and noted that the changes concerned sundry Articles reflecting the remarks expressed at the II reading to improve quality of independence of the Agency. The activity of the LEPL shall be overseen by: Parliament, PM, Court, PDP Inspector, SSS and Audit Service. The Parliament shall oversee the LEPL activity through Parliamentary control and through the Trust Group in individual cases. The Article 23 on contracted employees, was supplemented with the record that the reservation shall not apply to the pedagogical and scientific activities. MPs adopted the draft with 87 votes against 2. MPs adopted the draft Resolution on set up of the Interim Commission on Territorial Integrity with 96 votes, introduced by the Chair of the Faction Georgian Dream, Mamuka Mdinaradze. The draft envisages set up of the Commission with the term of 2 years to be headed by Gedevan Popkhadze.

The Parliament of Georgia hosted the Reception in honor of female MPs

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 14:55

The Chairman of Parliament initiated the Official Reception “Gender Equality in Politics and Economy” with UNDP supportThe Chairman, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze, the First Deputy Chairperson, Tamar Chugoshvili, the Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Martina Quick and the UNDP Resident Representative, Niels Scott opened the reception and delivered the welcome speeches.
The Chairman spoke about importance of the event and stated that it is symbolic that February 21, 1921 is the day of adoption of the first Constitution of the Republic of Georgia. “I would like to note that the Constitution of the first Republic of Georgia was one of the most progressive documents in the world. The Constitution of the first Republic was ensuring the high standards of human rights and freedom, including equality principles”. Georgia was one of the first countries in the world where the voting right of women was endorsed under the Constitution. “Starting from the first Republic, women played an important role in political processes. In 1919 five women were elected as the Members of the Constituent Assembly of Georgia, taking acting part in political processes”.
He emphasized the significant merit of the international partners, NGOs and state agencies in enactment of women participation in public and political life. “Naturally, we shall outline the adoption of the law on Gender Equality in 2010, as well as establishment of the Gender Equality Council. Adoption of the action plan was also important. I would like to note that the number of female MPs in the Parliament is gradually increasing”.
He noted that the female representation compared to 2008 increased three times and constitutes 15%, which is the historical maximum. “The role of female MPs in Parliamentary life is high. We have 23 female MPs and 18 of them occupy the leading positions, including 2 Deputy Chairpersons”. The Chairman spoke about the challenges. “We are proud with the progress and increased role of female MPs in Parliament. However, I would like to note that the challenges remain, including low participation of women in political life, as well as stereotypes in the society. We shall all strive to deal with these challenges. The state agencies, international organizations, NGOs, all persons concerned shall take active part. The Parliament of Georgia expresses commitment for participation in the process”. He thanked the UNDP and Swedish Embassy for organization of the event.
The First Deputy Chairperson and the Chair of the Gender Equality Council, Tamar Chugoshvili addressed the attendees: “I would like to thank UNDP and Chairman of Parliament for their joint initiative to organize the reception in the Parliament”. She spoke about importance of increased role of women in politics and noted that the gender balance in decision-making is in direct connection with economic welfare and development of the country. “Lots of surveys worldwide prove that women participation and gender balance in decision-making serve the fundamental basis for effective decisions and are in direct connection with economic welfare and development of the country”.
The examples of the most successful countries in the world evidence that women participation in decision-making in high therein. She stated that despite there is much to do to increase the number of female members of Parliament and Government, we still witness the significant progress. “In Parliament we clearly witness that despite the number of female MPs is not high, they occupy the leading positions, are very active and productive”. Recently, the Parliament endorsed the renewed composition and the Statute of the Gender Equality Council. “The Council is composed of the representatives of the ruling party and the opposition. Although, we still have gender imbalance and women predominate in the Council, we also have male Members believing that gender equality is an important issue”.
The GEC active cooperates with donor organizations (NDI, UNDP, UN WOMEN) and NGOs in development of the action plan. The Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Martina Quick spoke about particular role of female MPs. “You as female MPs, play the particular role. In the countries of high political participation of women, economic indices are quite high. If the country manages to ensure full involvement of women in decision-making and usage of their resources and skills, the country will be highly competitive”.
In this term, Georgia achieved significant progress, though there is much to do. As she noted, against the background of 2017 Municipal Elections, more resources shall be consumed to increase women participation.
The UNDP Resident Representative, Niels Scott stated: “We are glad to have the opportunity to cooperate with Gender Equality Council. We always cherished high expectations towards the GEC and the expectations are even further increased now”.
The reception was attended by MPs, Government, civil society, international organizations and media. The event aimed at underlining the role of Parliament in establishment of gender equality and equal protection of rights of men and women.



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