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Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Thursday, November 12
Parliamentarians are avoiding the Gamsakhurdia Commission

Rezonansi writes that there are confrontations in the Parliamentary majority group due to the Gamsakhurdia Commissionís format. It is believed that only Konstantine Gamsakhurdia and Jondi Baghaturia actually want to serve on this Commission. The Christian Democrats decided who its representatives on this Commission would be by voting. Two other members nominated by Gia Tortladzeís faction were sent there under compulsion and accordingly were absent from the first meeting. Almost the same situation applies in the majority group, and although they do not speak about it openly its members say in private that the Commissionís format, as a non-investigative Parliamentary body, is unacceptable. Therefore they have refused to take part in it.

It appears that the confrontation in the majority group has not been settled. Yesterday at the first Commission Meeting a majority representative stated that he would resign in protest if the Commission is not given investigative status. Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Jondi Baghaturia and the rest of the majority members are convinced that having a Temporary Parliamentary Commission is better than waiting for an Investigative Commission. It is difficult to say why the Government did not want an Investigative Commission but Jondi Baghaturia has said that a Temporary Commission was the Governmentís demand and they agreed with it to get some sort of investigation going.

Konstantine Gamsakhurdia is sure that all of these issues can be addressed and the status of the Commission is not a problem. The Commission has already been created by Parliament so changing its status would not be easy to do. Legally it could be changed by Parliamentary decision, but majority representative Lasha Tordia states that this issue would not be discussed.

The Vine programme continues

Rezonansi reports that the Vine programme is still in progress, contrary to some reports. The head of the Lagodekhi Municipality states that the Government has already apportioned the corresponding sums, the 1,000 GEL which will be paid to each vine grower for cutting down his vineyard.

As the municipal head explained talks are being held about those vine categories which are included in the programme. The peasant could cultivate peach trees in spite of the Vine programme, he stated.

The Government introduced the Vine programme in 2008. The Ministry of Agriculture and the provincial authorities were sure that the peasants wanted unprofitable vines cut down. The opposition positively assessed this initiative to change the vine stock by means of new cultivation, although they were sure that hard economic conditions had persuaded the peasants cut down their vines for cash reward.

The Kakheti Information Centre also says that the Kakhetian peasants cut their vines down under duress. The Government at one time decided to stop this project and the vine removal was stopped, but the project has since been reactivated.