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Georgia’s new Parliament gathers, elects key figures

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, November 21
Georgia’s newly elected Parliament gathered for the first time on Friday to elect its top figures, compose majority and minority factions and parliament committees, name an acting prime minister and create a precondition for voting for a new Government.

The same day, Irakli Kobakhidze, 38, from the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party, which gained 115 seats in the 150-member legislative body after last month’s Parliamentary Elections, was elected as the new Parliament Speaker of Georgia.

The new, 9th Parliament in the history of Georgia, also confirmed six deputies for Kobakhidze, four from the GDDG and two from other two opposition parties which gained seats in Parliament.

The first Vice Speaker from the GDDG is a former head of Georgia’s Young Lawyers’ Association NGO, Tamar Chugoshvili.

Zviad Dzidziguri, head of the Conservative Party, and Giorgi Volski, a lawmaker of the previous parliament, also became Vice Speakers from the GDDG.

GDDG member Ilia Nakashidze, a doctor from the legislative body from the western Adjara Autonomous Republic also took the post of the Deputy Speaker.

From the United National Movement opposition, the party which ran Georgia between 2003-2012 and gained 27 seats in last month’s elections, ex-Deputy Foreign Minister and founder of Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GROSS) NGO Sergi Kapanadze was elected as Parliament’s Vice Speaker.

Irma Inashvili, one of the founders of the opposition Alliance of Patriots, which has only six seats in the legislative body, was also elected as Vice Parliament Speaker.

The Parliamentary majority, minority and five factions were also officially formed on Friday.

The Parliamentary majority was composed of 116 lawmakers - 115 from the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party and one majoritarian-elect from the non-parliamentary Industrials Party, Simon Nozadze.

Two factions were formed within the majority: the Georgian Dream faction with 110 lawmakers, chaired by lawyer Mamuka Mdinaradze and Georgian Dream-Industrials faction with six lawmakers headed by Simon Nozadze.

It means that the GDDG has 116 lawmakers in Parliament, and not the initially-elected 115.

The majority leader will be ex-Deputy Interior Minister Archil Talakvadze.

The Parliamentary minority was formed by 26 lawmakers of the opposition United National Movement, which gained 27 seats in elections.

However, ex-First Lady Sandra Roelofs refused to take her seat, and she didn’t appear at the first session respectively.

The UNM and relevant bodies are discussing how she could be changed in the legislative body.

The minority formed two factions - the United National Movement faction with 20 lawmakers chaired by ex-governor of Tbilisi Mtatsminda district Nikanor Melia and the United National Movement-for Georgia’s Advancement faction with six members that will be chaired by political expert, one of founders of GROSS, Elene Khoshtaria.

The minority leader will be ex-Parliament Chair David Bakradze.

The third party in Parliament, the Alliance of Patriots, also formed a faction named Georgia’s Patriots with six lawmakers, chaired by party representative Giorgi Lomaia.

After the mandatory procedures, the majority offered the nominee for Prime Minister and President of Georgia named him for the role.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who was appointed as Prime Minister on December 30 2015, was re-nominated for the post.

Kvirikashvili will allegedly name the new Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday and after the Parliament will vote for them, supposedly this week.

The new Prime Minister and the Cabinet will need the support of at least 76 lawmakers to be confirmed.