The Chairman spoke about announced Constitutional reform and the format of the Constitutional Commission.
“We had a dialogue concerning the format. We had even speculations. However, I might reiterate that the format we offer is the optimal and leads to the respective outcome”.
Particular challenge for Georgia is economic development. Despite of unfavorable situation in the region, Georgian Government has an ambitious plan. “I believe the plan allows real increase of economic growth pace in Georgia. In terms of economic development, cooperation between the Government and NGOs, Parliament and NGOs is very important”.
The Chairman of the Parliament, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze, the Majority Leader, Mr. Archil Talakvadze and the Chair of the Education, Science and Culture Committee, Ms. Mariam Jashi visited the National Library of the Parliament.
The Director of the Library, Giorgi Kekelidze introduced the rehabilitation works in the I Block and the planned projects. The Chairmjan and MPs visited the restoration and conservation laboratory, digital photo chronicles, the hall of the Georgian Literacy Society, media library of French institute of Georgia, Georgian emigration hall, Chabua Amirejibi cabinet and other halls.
In the S. Paolini Italian Library the Chairman was hosted by the Ambassador of Italy, H.E. Antonio Enrico Bartoli.
As the Chairman stated, the Parliament will fully support the Library.
“We had the meeting a week ago. We considered the initiatives envisaging enhancement of the National Library, further development of the resources thereof and we can promise today that the Parliament will support all the initiatives. Each of the initiatives are important for us, for future generations, starting from e-catalogues up to the rural libraries. It is important for constant progress of our country”.
The Sector Economy and Economic Policy and the Budget and Finance Committees discussed the candidates for three members of the Board of the National Bank.
The President of Georgia has nominated Archil Mestvirishvili, Murtaz Kikoria and Robert Hendry Singleter Jr. to the positions due to expiration of the term of three members of the Board. The Deputy-Parliamentary Secretary of the President, Zurab Macharadze introduced the biographic data and working experience of the candidates.
MPs heard the candidates introducing their views and approaches. The main challenge for the NB and the country was named to be reduction of dollarization. “It is a complex issue and the National Bank powerless here. NB, the Government and financial sector are all involved in the issue as reduction of dollarization would be beneficial for everyone”, - A. Mestvirishvili noted. We have the plan of 10 points, which is one of the most important step forward to once and forever defeat dollarization problem. “It is not an easily solvable problem. It requires efforts and concentration of us all and we, the NB, as one of the leading bodies, will be involved in the issue”.
M. Kikoria named protection of consumers’ rights as another challenge. “In this term, we shall enhance the normative base and establish the principles to ensure stability of the sector”. According to R. Hendry Singleter Jr., protection of the population is possible through establishing the upper ceiling on interest rates. The state shall establish the higher limit for interest rates of the loans issued by the online loan and micro-financial organizations. “In my opinion, the state shall make effective steps and shall establish the upper ceiling of interest rates for the loans. The population has no financial knowledge and information unable to see the essence of the problem. Hence, their protection is possible with establishment of upper ceiling of interest rates”.
The candidates answered the questions concerning development of stock exchanges, upper ceiling of interest rates of the loans by online loans and micro-financial organizations , regulation of financial sector and involvement of banks in non-profile activity. MPs, with majority of votes through secret ballot, supported the candidates. Minority refused to participate in ballot as plans to consider the candidacies.
The members of the Parliament of Georgia late on Saturday night issued a resounding vote of confidence in the new government, following a full day of hearings with the Prime Minister-designate Giorgi Kvirikashvili and his proposed cabinet. The new government, which retains 13 ministers and brings in five new faces following the elections which returned the ruling Georgian Dream with a strengthened mandate, presented its programme for the coming term. President Margvelashvili confirmed the appointment of PM Kvirikashvili with a decree this morning. The Prime Minister has two days to appoint the ministers.
The ministerial changes and four-year governmental plan were approved by 110 votes in favour, 19 against and 21 abstentions.
Prime Minister Kvirikashvili thanked his team, the MPs and the people of Georgia for the smooth but intensive process of the elections and government confirmation. Following the vote he made a call for unity, saying: "We are given today a historic opportunity to make over the coming years an enormous contribution to the future positive development of our country. I urge you all to put anything personal aside and focus on the tremendous effort ahead of us."
The new government brings together a team of experienced and well-qualified ministers. In an effort to ensure stability, 13 ministers serving in the previous government will continue in their functions, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze, Minister of Defense Levan Izoria and Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani.
Among the new names, Victor Dolidze will serve as State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The Prime Minister praised the incoming State Minister as "an experienced and good diplomat" and "constructive partner" for Georgia's European path - Dolidze has extensive experience in EU and international affairs having served as Permanent Representative to OSCE and Parliament speaker for European affairs. His predecessor David Bakradze has been appointed Ambassador to the US.
Former Minister of Economy Dimitri Kumsishvili will take up the post of Finance Minister, retaining his role as first deputy prime minister, while Georgian Dream party secretary General Kakha Kaladze will be deputy prime minister, returning to the post of Energy Minister he held before a temporary leave to run for elections. The Ministry of Economy will be led by Giorgi Gakharia, the former business ombudsman and Chairman of the Economic Council, while Zurab Alavidze will become Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure. In an effort to streamline policy-making the Diaspora Issues portfolio has been merged with the Foreign Ministry.
The government's action plan for 2016-2020 - "Freedom, Rapid Development and Welfare" - will be based on earlier offered Four Point Reform Agenda, which prioritises new tax benefits, infrastructure plans, governance reforms and an overhaul of the education system. The aim of the government's economic policy will on the one hand develop private sector and on the other hand ensure to help the Georgian people in most need of state support.
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.
The Chair, Mikheil Kavelashvli spoke about the activity and the priorities of the Committee. He hoped that regardless of different views of the majority and minority, the constructive cooperation will result in the decisions beneficial for the country. The Committee shall do its best to make sports the field number one, to increase the volume of the sphere and ensure active involvement of adults therein. Committee members stated that sport can bring benefits for the country in terms of economic enhancement.
The Committee supported the Regulation and elected Shota Khabareli as the First Deputy Chair, Irakli Abuseridze from majority and Zaza Kedelashvili from minority as the Deputy Chairs. The Committee is composed of 13 members:
Mikheil Kavelashvili – Chair of the Committee
Shota Khabareli – First Deputy Chair
Irakli Abuseridze - Deputy Chair
Zaza Kedelashvili - Deputy Chair
“We are waiting for cooperation with the new Parliament of Georgia and the new Government”-this statement was made by US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly today in Kutaisi.
As the Ambassador said, being in Kutaisi is a great honor for him.
“This day is too important for Georgia because this is a first day of Parliamentary session. We are waiting for cooperation with the new Parliament of Georgia and the new Government. We already have deep cooperation with Georgian government and we are ready for future acts,”-Ian Kelly said.
On November 18, at 12h00, the Kutaisi Parliament Palace (26, I. Abashidze street) will host the first plenary session of the 9th Term of the Parliament.
In line with the Constitution of Georgia and the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament, the President of Georgia, Mr. Giorgi Margvelashvili is to open the first session.
After the Presidential speech, the floor shall be given to the oldest Member of Parliament who will chair the session prior to election of the Chairman. The Chairman of the Parliament shall be elected at the first plenary session for the term of authority, with secret ballot and with majority of the full composition of the Parliament.
The First Deputy Chairman and the Deputy Chairmen shall be elected with majority of the list composition. The first plenary session shall be accomplished with election of the Chairs of the Committees.
The first plenary session will be attended by the President of Georgia, the Prime Minister, representatives of the executive authority, the Chair of Central Election Commission, Catholic-Patriarch of All Georgia, clergymen of other religious confessions, Chairs of the Constitutional and the Supreme Courts of Georgia, representatives of the Diplomatic Corps and media.
Rules of Procedure of the Parliament
1. Article 124Newly elected Parliament shall consider the issues as follows at the first plenary session with the following sequence:
a) Election of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairmen;
b ) Set up of the Committees and election of the Chairs of the Committees under the Rules of Procedure;
c) In the events, envisaged under the hereby Rules of Procedure, consideration of the issues related to composition of the Government of Georgia.
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has signed a legal act according to which the first session of the Ninth Parliament is appointed on November 18, at 12:00 pm.
The President has passed the legal act following the consultations of the Administration of the President of Georgia with all participating parties
In view to celebrate continuity and heredity of the legislative authority, the reception for the Members of the 8th and the 9th Parliaments was held in the Parliament on behalf of the Chairman. The event was held on the International Tolerance Day and thus, the incumbent and newly elected MPs underlined necessity of respect and dialogue between the different people.
The Chairman of the Parliament, Mr. David Usupashvili addressed the attendees. According to him, the Parliament Palace has witnessed the number of significant events during the decades, though this meeting is unique as “today, we hold the event to celebrate continuity and heredity of the legislative authority”.
This meeting underlines that regardless of party affiliation and success or failure in the elections, all of us serve for our country – Georgia. “State service is not a privilege or an award, it is the honorary labor and we shall all be committed for this labor and devotion”. According to him, the 8th Term was quite interesting. “It was the first coalitional majority in Parliamentary history, it was the multiparty, mixed Parliament, similar to Georgian society”.
The new Parliament will also be dignified as one political party is to have the Constitutional majority which on the one hand allows the Parliament making more decisions with less problems but also obliges each and every MP to make the hereof decisions reasonably to prevent mistakes.As the Chairman stated, it is symbolic that this meeting is held on International Tolerance Day. “On Tolerance Day, incumbent and newly elected MPs gather here to celebrate this day because we are different, we have different political affiliations and views but we are here together to serve for our country”.
He thanked Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili on behalf of the 8th Term for his cooperation along with his team, the Government in favor of the country. The Chairman also thanked the MPs of the 8th Term and wished good luck to MPs of the 9th Term. The Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Ms. Eka Beselia noted that the Parliament traditionally celebrates the Tolerance Day not only in symbolic manner but in contextual terms as well, though this day is still unique. “In the format of this day we had an interesting meeting to celebrate this day along with the mixture of the new political culture, which as I presume, will be a good tradition and will enrich and diverse our country”. It is important not only for the Parliament but for the society as well to together create tolerant area. “Tolerance is one of the most important principles and foundation allowing harmony, co-existence and more love, more kindness in the world in general and amongst us, in our country, which has particular traditions in this regards”. The First Deputy Chairperson, Ms. Manana Kobakhidze also addressed the attendees and stated that the Parliament Palace has witnessed the number of events and heredity shall be maintained. “Certain traditions were always maintained in this premise and they shall be further maintained and adhered to and this will be one of the most important traditions when the old Parliament gives path to and congratulates the new Parliament”.
She thanked the Chairman in person for 4-year activity and stated that Mr. Usupashvili was the Chairman of the best Parliament which is commonly agreed by all the colleagues from the position or the opposition. “I personally, learned a lot from him, as from the politician and from the person. And in capacity of the First Deputy Chairman, I can state that these four years were the best in terms of cooperation with Mr. Usupashvili. I would like to wish him good luck in his future activity”.
In the end, the 8t Term MPs were granted with the memorable badges. The reception was attended by MPs of the 8th and the 9th Terms, the PM, Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Government members, Chair of CEC, Public Defender, representatives of the NGOs participating in Open and Transparent Governance Permanent Parliamentary Council and other invited guests.