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Georgian analysts tell MPs to resign

By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, June 9
Georgian political analysts have suggested that the Members of the Georgian Parliament resign from their posts as the Parliament has not functioned for more than 2 months. An appeal by the Experts Club, signed by 12 prominent political analysts, states that this “bold step” will definitely help resolve the political crisis in the country and bring a number of “positive results”.

The analysts say the resignation of the MPs can create the basis for a social contract in the country. Political scientists also say that it will cure the Government and opposition of “dialogue syndrome” as it would then be easier to appoint snap Parliamentary elections. “We will show everyone, including the diplomats accredited in Georgia, that our society is able to manage this complicated crisis, which is very important for our country, which faces many challenges,” the analysts’ statement reads. “Posterity will be proud if you [the MPs] put the national interest above your own welfare,” it continues.

Ruling party MPs have said that the Experts Club proposal is nothing more than “moral pressure” on Parliament Members. Gigi Tsereteli, Vice Speaker of Parliament, called on the analysts to ask the opposition to let Parliament work normally in order to “prevent possible provocations”. Tsereteli said that some members of the Experts Club might be interested in becoming politicians themselves and added that “if this precedent is set, the next Parliament might face the same problem.”

The Experts Club members say Tsereteli’s response to their appeal is “illogical” and “not serious”. Gia Khukhashvili, one of the analysts who signed the appeal, said that Georgian officials think that any kind of criticism of them is pressure. “The tragedy of our country is that officers of state are saying that MPs and non-Parliamentary opposition members bear the same responsibilities. We pay the Parliament members, not the people outside Parliament, so the ones responsible to us are the Parliament members,” Khukhashvili said.

Khukhashvili denied the allegation that some of the analysts might be willing to get involved in politics. “I have no information about any member of the Experts Club planning to do this. Despite many offers, including some from the Government, I personally have neither the will nor the ambition to become a politician,” the analyst told The Messenger.

MPs from the Parliamentary minority have suggested that the resignation of the MPs could lead to “political deadlock”. Levan Vephkhvadze from the Christian Democratic Movement has said that “this will enable Saakashvili to call new elections and conduct an election campaign identical to the one before the May 21 elections.” Vephkhavdze noted that it is essential that Parliament is given the possibility to work so that Parliamentary elections can be conducted under an amended Election Code.

Non-Parliamentary opposition members are sceptical about the analysts’ proposal dragging the country out of crisis, as they do not believe the MPs will resign. Tina Khidasheli, from the Republican Party, is among these skeptics. “I don’t expect the MPs will be able to show high civil responsibility and quit their posts. To do this you need a civil conscience,” Khidasheli told The Messenger. “As the Government does not see what society wants, it is very important to make such proposals in order to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis in the country. However I reiterate that I think it is unrealistic to expect Georgian MPs to cast away their mandates,” she added.

If the proposals of the Experts Club analysts are declared unacceptable by some MPs they have promised to make more in a week’s time. “I am sure they [MPs] will not like those proposals either, especially the representatives of the so-called parliamentary opposition,” Gia Khukhashvili has stated.