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President’s special session fails

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, March 16
A special session called by President Giorgi Margvelashvili on March 13 with regard to the country’s economic troubles failed owing to the lack of quorum.

The president appointed the session through the request of opposition parties. Only 41 MPs from the 150-seat legislative body decided to attend the discussion.

Margvelashvili’s parliamentary secretary stressed that the aim of the president was to honor the interests of the public concerning the serious devaluation of the Georgia’s national currency against the dollar.

The UNM said that the failure of the session was because of the absence of an anti-crisis plan and the ministers’ fear of responding to the opposition’s questions.

The opposition Free Democrats (FD) party stressed that the boycott of the majority was disrespectful to the president and the public. They expressed concern that their colleges are not qualified politicians.

The majority explained its absence at the special session saying that a committee hearing was held over economic issues a day before the event, where the economic team minister's and the head of the National Bank spoke about the problems and answered the opposition's questions.

At the sitting, Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri said that his ministry would focus on four key aspects and implement activities in these fields in the near future to create a better economic and business environment in Georgia.

The areas of focus are: to protect the customers’ interests in the financial sector; to establish pension reform and create a private insurance pension system; establish deposit insurance; and develop a capital market.

Georgia’s Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili introduced a three-year plan involving short-term, mid-term and long term goals to help the country’s economic challenges. The short-term plan involved the privatization of state-owned assets. Concerning mid and long term intentions, Kvirikashvili announced very important changes in terms of tax liberalization in the near future.

In order to promote exports, the new Georgia Export Promotion Institute will begin operating in May, according to Kvirikashvili.

The opposition United National Movement members stated that the government failed to reveal a genuine plan and have asked people to attend the March 21 rally on Rustaveli Avenue with the aim to change the “incapable” leadership of the country.