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Vice Speaker: Government is unlikely to attend president’s annual speech

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, March 17
Parliament Vice-Speaker Manana Kobakhidze stated that the government will presumably not attend the president’s annual speech scheduled on March 20 at parliament.

Kobakhidze stresses that based on the regalement, the government is not obliged to be present. She also emphasizes that no debates will take place in the parliament as was demanded by the opposition.

“The majority has nothing to debate with the president. All political forces will have an opportunity to present their views,” Kobakhidze added.

The government members have not yet stated their final response to the speech that is held once a year and concerns the country’s domestic and foreign challenges.

The President’s Parliament Secretary Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze said that Margvelashvili’s report will be interesting and noteworthy for the government, and he will touch upon all the crucial issues for the country.

Kverenchkhiladze explained that discussing the issues pushed forward by the president is essential, and the action does not mean debating or opposing the president.

He says that the format of the annual event has not been finalized.

“It’s not true that that the president is afraid of debates. He is ready for any format offered by the parliament,” Kverenchkhiladze said.

The opposition United National Movement is demanding debates in parliament, and stresses that the government’s attitude towards the speech is a sign of disrespect towards the country’s democratic institutions – to Margvelashvili.

Most analysts are not happy with the government’s attitude towards the speech.

“This is one more example of the irresponsible attitude to the country from the government side. Without debates, the speech loses its importance,” analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili said

Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze states that the president should voice a very clear pro-Western message, and get the international community and foreign states, which have their own headaches not related to Georgia, interested in our problems.

The analyst states that without international support, Georgia’s fate will be at risk.