The meeting of the Speaker with the President of Estonian Parliament
The Speaker, Mr. David Usupashvili, within the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament, held the meeting with the President of Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu), Mr. Eiki Nestor.
The Speaker stated that support of a “friendly Estonia” is valuable for Georgia, especially on EU and NATO integration path. Mr. Nestor noted that Estonia fully supports EU integration of Georgia. Speaking about visa liberalization, he underlined that hesitations on granting Georgia visa free have ended and hoped for the positive decision.
Mr. Nestor underlined that in 2017 the Presidents of the Parliaments of NB8 (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden) schedule the visit to Georgia. The parties discussed electoral milieu in Georgia and Estonia being under repeated Presidential elections since failure to elect the President in August. The Conference in Strasbourg is attended by the Presidents of the Parliaments of 47 member states. The PACE-organized conference is being held once per year to be attended by 350 delegates.
THE SPEAKER SIGNED THE DRAFT CHANGES TO THE CRIMINAL CODE OF PRACTICE
“There are no legal or expediency arguments that can impede the enactment of the hereof Law and hence, I signed the Law”, - the Speaker, Shalva Papuashvili stated at the extraordinary briefing speaking about the process of the development of the Law and the Presidential veto.
He underlined that similar to Mme. Zourabichvili, who had no legal remarks concerning the Law, nor Venice Commission detected incompliance of the draft with the ECHR standards.
“As you may know, the President used her right of veto to the hereof Law on June 23, calling it a political veto and thus, underlining the fact of absence of the legal remarks towards it, however, she considered the adoption thereof as politically inexpedient due to the criticism by certain groups concerning the pace of the consideration of the hereof Law and the engagement of the parties concerned. Subsequently, the President addressed the Venice Commission appealing to provide their opinions regarding the Law. On August 26, the Venice Commission promulgated its opinions regarding the Law. Similarly to the Presidential veto, the Venice Commission failed to detect any contradictions to the European or international standards on human rights. At that, Venice Commission, based on their interviews with certain actors in Georgia, reiterated the opinion about the pace of the adoption of the Law and the engagement of the parties concerned. I hereby provide the perception, which has been unfortunately attempted to establish towards the hereof Law”, - he stated.
As the Speaker elucidated, the initiators have not required expedited consideration of the draft initiated on April 13, 2022, and hence, the draft has been under standard consideration procedure.
“Moreover, providing the particular interest to the Draft and based on the appeal of our partners, the consideration has been extended for 3 weeks. Eventually, the Parliament adopted the Law with the III reading in 2 months upon the initiation and providing the overcoming of veto, the Law has been adopted in 5 months, which has nothing in common with an expedited manner; All relevant state agencies, all NGOs concerned, and all international actors have been engaged in the initial consideration so in the overcoming of veto. The Draft has been under consideration not only in the Committees but at the Working Group meetings, including with the EU experts online. Every party enjoyed the opportunity and enough time to submit their contextual remarks concerning the incompliance of the Draft with any of the European or international human rights standards. You can find zero groups concerned capable of stating that despite their will to participate in the consideration, they lacked this opportunity, which has nothing in common with non-inclusiveness”.
The Speaker underlined that even 5 months after the initiation of the draft, no contextual remarks have been made that could put the compliance of the draft with any human rights standards under doubt. “On the contrary, the discussions with the local groups concerned or the international actors revealed that the hereof Law is in full compliance with the practice of the European Court of Human Rights. The consideration of the veto confirmed the absence of the answer to the reiterated question to specify the human rights standard that the hereof Law is in breach thereto”, - he noted.
The only opinion expressed concerns the expediency of the adoption of the Law, he added: “pursuant to Article 36 of the Constitution of Georgia, the Parliament is the supreme legislative body determining various directions of state politics, including the creation of the respective legal base in view of the higher efficiency of investigative actions. Hence, the issue of expediency of the adoption of the Laws is attributed to the exclusive competence of the Parliament. In sum, it took 5 months in the Parliament to discuss the hereof issue and on September 6, the Parliament ultimately confirmed its decision. Thus, there are no legal or expediency arguments that can impede the enactment of the hereof Law and hence, I signed the Law”.
Parliament Speaker: We leave doors open for parties to join
Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze is grateful to the European Council President Charles Michel and special envoy Christian Danielsson for their mediation leadership.
“Even though the opposition was not ready to sign, we’ll guide judicial and electoral reforms by Danielsson’s proposal. We leave doors open for parties to join,” Talakvadze tweeted.
The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party and the opposition could not agree on a solution, Christian Danielsson briefed reporters following the hours-long joint meeting between GD and the opposition on Tuesday.
The opposition failed to provide any evidence on elections fraud. But, we showed evidence that the radical opposition forged the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) results”, Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chairman of the Georgian Dream party, said after a joint meeting mediated by EU mediator Christian Danielsson.
“Today, the international partners presented a document in which there was no record, either directly or indirectly, on any snap elections,” he added.
Kobakhidze stated that the document by Danielsson included GD’s proposal on Nika Melia’s case. “In particular, in case of paying bail, Georgian Dream pledged to ensure application of amnesty bill in the June 20th case. However, the opposition rejected this solution,” he said.
Christian Danielsson, a personal envoy of the European Council President Charles Michel, said after the talks today that none of the parties agreed on a solution.
Besides, EU mediator Christian Danielson published the proposals made to political parties.
Danielsson said he proposed a solution to the parties that puts the country interest first, but none of the political parties could agree to it. EU mediator has already left for Brussels.
Danielsson returned to Tbilisi for the second time on Sunday to help the opposition and the government reaching an agreement. He first arrived in Tbilisi on March 12. After a five-day mediation that ended with no result, he left the country.
Charles Michel announced on March 22 that Christian Danielsson would travel back to Georgia to help the parties to agree.
The Georgian opposition parties that won seats in the Georgian Parliament of the 10th Convocation believe the 2020 parliamentary elections were a fraud. They have been demanding repeat parliamentary elections and the release of the United National Movement Chair, Nika Melia, and the co-founder of the TV channel Mtavari Arkhi Giorgi Rurua.
Speaker of Azerbaijan's Parliament elected
The first plenary meeting of Azerbaijan's Parliament of the 6th convocation was held on March 10, Trend reports.
The chairman, vice-chairmen of the Parliament, as well as chairmen and vice-chairmen of parliamentary committees were elected at the meeting.
As a result of the voting, Sahiba Gafarova was elected Speaker of the Parliament.
Born in 1955, Gafarova graduated from the Azerbaijani Pedagogical Institute of Russian Language and Literature named after M.F.Akhundov and Azerbaijan University of Languages (in English philology) with honors.
Since 1981 to the present, she has been working at Baku Slavic University. In 2000-2004 she was dean of the faculty of Western European languages and head of the department of English philology at Western University, vice-rector for international relations of Baku Slavic University.
Gafarova is a specialist in the theory of literature, modern Russian and American literature, the author of more than 70 scientific and educational works, programs, and study guides. She is engaged in research on gender issues in philology. Sahiba Gafarova is Doctor of Philology, professor.
Georgian parliamentary speaker Irakli Kobakhidze resigned from his post
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.
The Sitting of the Bureau
The sitting of the Bureau, chaired by the Speaker, discussed the agenda of the plenary sessions for the last week of the Spring Session today.
The Speaker informed the members of the Bureau regarding the list of the issues to be discussed during plenary sessions of June 28-30, which includes several issues for voting and over 100 issues for discussion. The Parliament discusses the following draft laws in accordance with the accelerated procedure: “On introducing amendments to the Law on General Education”, “On introducing amendments to the Law on electricity and Natural gas”, “On introducing amendments to the organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia”, “On introducing amendments to the organic Law of Georgia Administrative Offences Code of Georgia”. It is also planned to listen to Annual Report on Implementation of 2016 State Budget of Georgia, Annual Reports of the National Communications Commission of Georgia and State Audit Service of Georgia for 2016. The organizational issues were also discussed during the meeting. Based on the request of the Legal Issues Committee, the Bureau made a decision on postponing timing for considering several legislative proposals.
Afterwards, the members of the Bureau moved to the plenary sitting hall.