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.
Parliament hosted the presentation of the documentary film “Yerevan-Batumi, Friendship Route”, attended by MPs and the representatives of Georgian and Armenian Societies and NGOs. The film was introduced by the co-author, co-director, producer and the script writer, the Head of “Agora-Georgia”, Ms. Victoria Maksoeva, stating that the film is dedicated to Georgian-Armenian relations and aims at enhancement of friendship, especially facilitation to the recently restored tourist links.
The film provides the tourist infrastructure and service conditions of Batumi and Adjara region adjusted to any segment of the tourists. The film was aired on Armenian TV two days ago and is also nominated at the international contest “Adami Media Prize”. The MP, Ruslan Poghosian and the attendees wished good luck to the authors.
The Chairperson of Parliament's Human Rights Committee rejects the information that the post of Parliamentary Chairman can be retained by Giorgi Kvirikashvili. According to Eka Beselia, the new prime-minister is not in the agenda.
“Giorgi Kvirikashvili is the prime minister who is successful now. We don’t plan to find new prime minister. Giorgi Kvirikashvili is the best PM who can lead the team and government,”-Eka Beselia said. According to her, the Prime Minister will make a decision on new ministers cabinet. The discussions on new Parliamentary Chairman will hold after the second round of the elections.
The Speaker, Mr. David Usupashvili opened the Civil Cooperation Center in the Parliament. The event was attended by MPs, Permanent Parliamentary Council for Open and Transparent Governanceand the Advisory Council, as well as the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, NGOs, donor organizations and the Staff.
The Parliament decided to echo the worldwide event – Open Parliament Week. “One year ago, we held a very successful conference in the Parliament of Georgia dedicated to the hereof event attended by MPs from up to 30 countries and we officially noted that prior to the conference, Georgian Parliament was awarded the I Rank Order at Word Forum in Mexico for Parliamentary openness and attempt to affiliate Parliament to people. The Parliament of Georgia has represented not only MPs elected by people but the Parliament has always been open for our citizens to inform the population about the activity and to allow the population share their opinions and positions”.
Parliamentary openness is necessary not only for the citizens to timely be informed but to timely provide their opinions to the Parliament. “It is impossible without a very effective mechanisms and models established in the Parliament. In this view, we have established special working milieu, the Working Group. We have adopted changes to the Rules of Procedure and hence, it is the Inter-Party group based on intact legislative basis, composed of NGOs, civil sector with best experience of relations with the Parliament. We have developed quite an ambitious action plan the basic part of which is implemented and we hope to accomplish some more issues till October 8 to inherit the next convocation with a significant work done. In this regards, today we have decided to institutionally establish the Civil Cooperation Center in the Parliament. Henceforth, it will be open for the organizations interested in cooperation with the Parliament and hold their events in this premise, to meet with MPs, interest groups, to study the issues of their interest, to raise their initiatives and opinions.
The CCC will be the place open for all the organizations willing to cooperate with the Parliament with long-term productive projects. In general, everyone in the Parliament can receive information. Committee sittings are open for attendance, as well as the plenary sessions. As to the CCC, we invite organizations with a concrete profile and concrete activity proved to be useful for the parliament and the interest groups being focal for the hereof organizations. Let me also note that in general, such cooperation between the Parliament and civil sector is not a novelty. We have sundry organizations cooperating with the Parliament.”. He congratulated the society with opening of CCC and hoped for facilitation to development of democratic institutions. “Here we represent various political groups because Parliament belongs to every political party, and today, it will also belong to every citizen. Let me congratulate you and hope the CCC to be one more productive step in terms of institutional development in our country”.
The CCC will be headed by the Staff, providing service, management and all arrangements. The strategic aim of the CCC is capacity building of the Parliament, effective public-private legislative dialogue and facilitation to Parliamentary openness. Within the mandate, CCC activity will envisage Parliament-civil sector effective cooperation and is open for civil and public organizations. The event was held within GLOW annually celebrated on September 12-18 worldwide calling on the civil society and the Parliaments to facilitate to legislative openness and involvement in legislative processes.
The last plenary session of 8th Parliament of Georgia was not held. The Quorum was not reached. Only 30 depute were registered, including representatives of Republicans Party, Georgian Dream and the Conservators.
According to the regulations, just one month before the parliamentary elections the parliament stops working but the plenary session was scheduled. Planned bills should be discussed, including General Court bill.
The Chairman of Parliament of Georgia apologized for failed session.