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Georgian government plans to move parliament back to capital

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, October 31
The Georgian parliament, which took a break during the presidential elections, held the first session on October 30. The session discussed the laws submitted by the government and the draft state budget for 2014. The MPs also focused on the issue of the returning of the parliament from Kutaisi to Tbilisi from February 1, 2014.

To make the changes, the majority needs three more votes. Thus the coalition members will have to count on collaboration and support from the United National Movement (UNM). If the project fails, parliament will continue working in Kutaisi, and the parliamentary building in Tbilisi will be used for hosting delegations.

UNM MP, Giorgi Tevdoradze, thinks that the Georgian Dream coalition is trying to fulfill only one promise out of their 80 election promises. He said this only promise is to return the parliament building to the capital Tbilisi.

Meanwhile the local youth, journalists and other civil actors protested the idea of moving the legislative body back to capital. Protesters think that after moving parliament, Kutaisi will lose the status of the second city.

Journalist Davit Liklikadze, said that Kutaisi will turn into a "dead city,” as far as people no longer will able to even rent flats.

“I am not here as a representative of Kutaisi, no matter from which city I am from, I would anyway be against this idea, because it is not bad only for Kutaisi. Georgia will lose its second political center,” stated Liklikadze.

However, Zurab Abashidze, Member of the parliament majority, thinks that it is not practical that the government and parliament buildings are in different cities. “This is just the waste of energy, money and time,” stated Abashidze.