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.
Human Rights and Legal Affairs Committees of Parliament will hold the hearing of candidates presented as Supreme Court Judges at Autumn Session. The committees say that the issue will be ready for Autumn session.
“If the committee meeting will be available in July, we will appoint committee meeting and if it will not be possible in July, it will be held in September, in the frames of Autumn Session. The Bureau session will hold on September, 6,”-Vakhtang Khmaladze said.
The Speaker made elucidation regarding the Parliamentary activity. The first Tuesday of September – September 6 is the date for autumn session opening with the Bureau followed with the session on September 7. Meanwhile, the Parliament will proceed with the spring session agenda issues.
“Today at the Bureau, I would like to clarify the issue about the modus operandi of the Parliament – what we have ahead and how we plan to continue and accomplish activity as our activity has not ended with the spring session. Now, we are in between the spring and autumn sessions – no plenary sessions will be held but the Parliament continues functioning. Let me remind you that the next plenary will start on September 6 with the Bureau as envisaged under the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure followed with the plenary on September 7. It is out assignment under the law and the Rules of Procedure. It is mandatory to hold the session on September 7. As to the post period – since September 8 we move into the pre-election 1-month period when the Parliament stops plenary activity unless the session is convened by the Speaker or ¼ of MPs. So, we will convene the sessions after September 7 if necessary or initiated by ¼ of MPs. We will further define the issue, before September 4-5. If the Parliamentary groups have some issues to continue, they will let me know. If I have any opinion, I will let you know as well.
Meanwhile, we are a full-fledged Parliament with full-fledged authority before the elections. As to post September 8 period, MPs maintain status unless new Parliament is elected but sessions will no longer be held and the Parliament does no longer enjoy authority to hold legislative activity other than the events prescribed under the Constitution.
After September 8, we will assemble prior to convocation of the new Parliament if necessary upon state of emergency, use of military forces, snap Presidential elections etc. – the list is specified in the Constitution. I would like to make the hereof elucidation to let us all plan our activity and let the society know that the Parliament exists and functions regardless of non-plenary regime. The Parliament, as the state institution will operate with full capacity with attendance of MPs. I have no notifications regarding the extraordinary sessions, so we do not expect any before September 7 unless any state of emergency”.
The Speaker introduced the activity plan of the incumbent Parliament prior to the new convocation. In line with the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure, the first Tuesday of September – September 6 is the date for the opening of autumn session with the Bureau and September 7 is the plenary session day. Meanwhile, the Parliament will proceed with the legislative changes within the spring session.
“On September 6, the Bureau will open the autumn session under the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure. On September 7 we will convene the plenary session. As to the post period, on September 8 we start the pre-election 1-month regime, envisaging the Parliament to stop activity unless the plenary session is convened by the Speaker or with the initiative of ¼ of MPs. We will further define the issue before September 4-5”.
He noted that the Parliament, as the state institution, will operate at full capacity. The Bureau discussed legislative initiatives submitted to the Committees for consideration including the draft on Local Fees, the draft on Tax Code and the draft on Social Aid.
The initiator, Dimitri Khundadze recalled the latter for redevelopment. The draft on Criminal Code specifying disposition and altering responsibility measures for illegal storage and acquisition of fire guns, explosives etc. is the initiative of the Government.
The agenda also includes the reports by the Committees on Sports and Youth Issues and on Education, Science and Culture on activity for 2015.
The President nominated the candidates to the members of the Supreme Court. The candidates will be considered by the Committees. The Bureau also discussed the list of issues not included into the spring session agenda.
The last spring sessions will be overloaded. Deriving from importance of the issues and the consideration period, plenary sessions will be held on June 22, 23 and 24 and will be closed on June 24 in line with the Rules of Procedure. The session week results will define necessity of extraordinary sessions.
The Speaker stated that the Code of Conduct for MPs has been developed and the draft delivered to MPs. The preceding Parliament developed the similar draft though it failed. “Now, within open government program and with support by international organizations, we can develop the Code of Conduct for MPs, which is a complex and interesting document and as it concerns MPs and ethics of MPs, I would like to let MPs study the draft before initiation. MPs can introduce their opinions to the working group as ethic norms have the meaning when it is at maximal extent based on consensus”.
He called on MPs to inform Guguli Magradze and Giorgi Kakhiani about their remarks or offers within a week. Minority MPs plan to continue boycott and the plenary will be held without them attending. As to the estimated agenda, it includes up to 50 issues for voting and the same amount for consideration and some for accelerated consideration. There are as well sundry documents for ratification.
The agenda also includes the organic law on Common Courts, related to the third wave of the judicial reform, though due to failure to achieve consensus on some articles, it can impede adoption of the draft with the III reading.
The Bureau discussed new initiatives and decided to start consideration. The initiatives include the drafts on: Red Cross Society of Georgia; Criminal Code of Practice, changing the regulations on jury, the draft on Civil Security, defining firemen-rescuer social provision guarantees.
MPs will consider and adopt the Code of Conduct in Pre-Election Period, authored by Victor Dolidze. The document is signed by all Faction Chairs except UNM. The draft envisages the Parliament declaring that the conduct rules and ethical standards shall be observed and that the political parties shall act in line with the Constitution, legislation, Election Code and democratic governance principles, the Parliament recognizes concrete rights and freedom of political parties and calls on the parties to refuse hostility and violence. The Parliament recognizes importance of depoliticization of public services and inadmissibility of usage of administrative resources for the elections. The Parliament calls on media to protect equal treatment principles to political subjects and underlines the role of the Court on electoral disputes.
As the Speaker stated, agreement on Election Conduct rules is timely and important and it is a good example of cooperation. It would be preferable if UNM stops boycott and participates in consideration of this issue along with non-parliamentary parties. The author of the Code thanked the colleagues for cooperation, the Speaker, the President and the Prime Minister. The plenary week starts on June 22 at 13hoo following the Bureau at 12h30.
The Parliament and the Business and Economic Center organized the Public Discussion on “RIA” in coordination with the Governmental Administration within the USAID project “Governance for Development”. The Speaker addressed the attendees.
“I am glad that this issue is gradually becoming one of the directions of state policy from narrow conversations and I am particularly glad that the Government assumed the leading role in this direction. At the first glance, the Parliament shall be the number one agency responsible for the legislative processes, regulations and their quality but in fact, in order to make one or another issue the part of the public policy countrywide, it needs the Governmental attention and due attitude. The Parliament is not exclusively responsible on these issues and thus, I hail the concrete steps made by the Government recently”.
All convocations want the adopted laws to be effective and productive, though often it is based on personal imaginations, political attitude and serendipity. “We shall admit reality that often, all these issues are based on our personal imaginations, our political attitude, political conjuncture and intuitions than the objective, measurable, estimable and lengthy process”. “Politics” in Georgian expresses two various concepts often confused. “We more often look at the public life from the political view than from the view of “policy” and often, our laws, regulations and resolutions are marked with this sign – that it is the political decision and less corresponds to the tasks of this sphere and the tasks of the ultimate goal. All these issues were in the agenda of our Parliament. I hope we move forward but the pace is not enough”.
He spoke about the steps in this direction and noted that the drafts have been developed, envisaging the explanatory note to be more detailed and improved. In terms of definition of the criterion and standards for estimation of impact of legislative regulations, the Parliament cooperates with international organizations and business organizations, though now it is time for system approach. “It is time to establish the standards necessary at least for our EU integration. It is already intolerable and inadmissible that sometimes, the draft is developed in a week but it needs 1-1,5 months to become a law. The law taking 2 months is often initially defected. Starting from such issues to the criterion for our final decisions, what we know about the expected impact of the laws”.
The Speaker spoke about profit tax reforms and noted that MPs had the questions about the Estonian model of the draft as it was not in details introduced. “Only a little nuance is absent for this good deed – solution of any detail in any other law and if it is not solved, then the desire cannot be realized. So, it is necessary to asap establish this methodology in our routine. The rules of mandatory behavior, set by the state and purposed to have due and positive impact, and estimation of this impact is the necessary component of our activity”. All MPs cannot have these skills and they will need expert assistance. MPs, in view of due treatment of the law, shall cooperate with NGOs and experts. “We shall jointly work to property treat the law. Estimation of real impact of the law and adoption of respective changes are necessary. I would like to once more assure you that the Government and the Parliament are very serious to this issue. It is the case when all political wills are gathered. I am sure that the Parliament will be active till expiration of the term and we will delegate the progress to the next Parliament”.
After the speech by the Speaker, The expert on Estimation of Impact of Regulations introduced the recommendations on the national frame of estimation of impact of regulations.
The EU Attaché to Georgia spoke about EU recommendations. The recommendations on the national frame have been developed to facilitate the Government, within USAID G4G project and engagement of the expert, on the basis of OECD and EU RIA standards and guidelines, taking the international best practice into account.
The CEO of BEC, Natia Katsiashvili resumed the public discussion. “I hail that as on the legislative so on the executive level the commitment was expressed to asap, using our available resources and human capital of the country, establish the frame for estimation of impact of regulations and then, simultaneously with enhancement of capacities, implement methodological improvement thereof. The consultations with the business sector are improved. I am glad that business sector is actively involved. Unanimity on this issue and donor assistance gives us hope that this process will be established next spring and we will witness the first systems of estimation in the Parliament”.
The discussion aimed at consideration of RIA system establishment in Georgia and related problems with involvement of interest groups, MPs and executive authorities, agreement on system institutionalization main principles and facilitation to informed participation of MPs in development of respective drafts.
According to the Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the candidacy of the future Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia is unknown yet. This statement was made by the Former Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili on the meeting with representatives of press and online media. Journalist asked him who will be the next chairman of the parliament if Georgian Dream wins. Ivanishvili answered that the issue of majoritarians is only now has been discussing in the party.
“The list should be strengthened after that. We should not talk about this right now,”-the Former Prime Minister said.