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Speeding up the move to Kutaisi

By Messenger Staff
Friday, July 20
Some forces in the Georgian top level have tried to accelerate the move of parliament to Kutaisi from its former home on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi. It is possible it is President Saakashvili that is accelerating the process. There is speculation that the parliament building in Tbilisi is being sold if it hasn’t been sold already, as various employees of the parliament, as well as MPs were asked to quickly empty their offices of their belongings, thus creating uncertainty and agitation.

The official parliament spokesman says that nothing extraordinary is taking place that would explain why the administration wants the offices to be vacated before employees leave for summer vacations.

All these moves are accompanied by rumors which suggest something really is on the works. Initially it was announced that the parliament in Kutaisi will host only plenary sessions, later it was announced that starting after the newly-elected parliament of 2012, parliamentary sessions will be held in Kutaisi. In reality, on May 26, a celebratory parliamentary session signifying Georgia’s Independence Day was held in the still being constructed building of the parliament in Kutaisi. This was followed by the tragic accident that saw the death of a worker employed there.

So, parliamentary employees are in panic because many of them may lose their jobs which were previously located in Tbilisi. Many will be unable to follow their jobs to Kutaisi because they have families. There are rumors being circulated that in August, they will be dismantling the windows in the C-building of the old parliament. Some suggest that the reconstruction work is demanded by Arab investors. Nevertheless, 800 technical workers employed in the parliament are under the threat of losing their jobs. Meanwhile, rumors are spreading that in Kutaisi, several training processes are taking place for preparing the parliament’s future staff. Many people do not understand why the government is moving parliament in such a speedy way. However, it is most difficult to understand why there is a need for such a fast evacuation of all the offices. Some suggest that it is done because of the ruling administration is making it technically irreversible to move back to Tbilisi’s parliament in the case that they lose the parliamentary elections this October.

There are also speculations that moving parliament to Kutaisi was the idea of one person – President Saakashvili and in his circles even his own National Movement representatives do not support the idea. As for opposition leader Ivanishvili, he says that after his party’s victory in the elections, he promises to return the parliament to Tbilisi. As for the glassy parliament building of Kutaisi, it will be a theatre he says. The fate of the parliamentary building in Tbilisi is a separate issue, but like or dislike it, the building is a historic one. It recalls its post-Soviet past; many tragic and dramatic events took place there, including the Rose Revolution.

It is very difficult to reveal the evidence behind this issue. Whether there really exists an Arab investor or this is a phantom but current reality, no one knows. Indeed, Georgian politics is full of intrigue.