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Parliamentary wanderers

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 17
One of the caprices of the former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was the moving of the parliamentary building from Tbilisi to Kutaisi. However, the current Georgian administration is desperately trying to move the parliament back to Tbilisi.

Until now this has been unachievable because the Georgian Dream hasn’t been able to gather the necessary votes for carrying out the changes in the state constitution. Saakashvili’s administration introduced a special clause to the constitution saying that parliament should be located only in Kutaisi.

So, the parliamentary minority of the United National Movement (UNM) continues to act as an obstruction to returning the parliament to Tbilisi and does not vote for this. Accordingly, the Georgian Dream cannot collect enough votes.

This idea was the first initiative of the Georgian Dream coalition after winning the parliamentary elections. However, the party was not able to collect two-thirds of the votes needed to make the constitutional changes. Moreover, as soon as the new president was elected, a new rule came into force.

This rule stipulates that for introducing the changes into the state constitution ? of the total votes are necessary.

The Georgian Dream representative has proposed an unusual project, one which might solve the problem. In particular, MP Zurab Tkemaladze suggested that the old parliament building in Tbilisi and the territory where the building is located should be given to Kutaisi. Therefore, in a jurisdiction sense, this building and the territory will become the part of Kutaisi.

While suggesting this idea Tkemaladze brought as an example the decision of the previous UNM administration when it transferred the mountainous skiing resort of Gudauri to the Tbilisi municipality. Also the embassies of different countries have been named as examples - the territories within the embassies are the territories of those foreign countries.

Tkemaladze’s suggestion was received controversially by MPs from both parties. MP Zurab Abashidze supports the idea to discuss Tkemaladze’s idea.

Meanwhile the opposition finds the idea to be a joke. Even among the majority representatives there is no consensus about this idea. Some of them also consider it a joke.

However, it should be said that moving the parliamentary building to Kutaisi was taken on the initiative of then President Saakashvili. No referendum or plebiscite was held over the issue. The publics’ opinion was never asked for. As for the opposition, they were just ignored as well.

This way or another, the renovation of the old parliamentary building in Tbilisi is underway. However, it is yet another Georgian quiz what will be the fate of parliament in Georgia.

Meanwhile, employees of the parliament, high ranking officials and foreign diplomats are wandering back and forth between Tbilisi and Kutaisi, spending much time, extra petrol, and more money, which could be definitely put to better use.