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Cutting legislative body’s expenses

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, December 20
Georgia’s Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze vows to cut down the expenses of the legislative body by 2 million GEL.

Kobakhidze stressed the issue was being discussed with the Government of Georgia, which earlier stated to reduce the administrative expenses by 10percent from the next year.

"We believe we will manage to cut down costs by 2 million GEL. The Parliament and the Government will continue to consult on the issue," Kobakhidze stated.

Local media also asked the new Parliament Speaker whether the Parliament activities would be moved from western Kutaisi city to capital Tbilisi.

Kobakhidze stressed such an amendment required constitutional consent in the legislative body, which amounts to at least 113 votes out of the 150-member Parliament.

The decision to build a new Parliament building in Kutaisi was made by the previous ruling United National Movement Government, and was strongly opposed by the current Georgian Dream state leadership, which defeated the nine-year rule of the United National Movement in 2012.

The Georgian Dream did not have a constitutional majority in the eighth Parliament of 2012-2016; however, after the October Parliamentary Elections this year Georgian Dream is now represented with 116 MPs.

This majority means the party can carry out key amendments it was unable to undertake in previous years.

The United National Movement claims both the cut in administrative expenses and moving Parliament activities to Tbilisi would result in negative consequences.

They stress the Government would reduce administrative costs at the expense of disliked employees.

The opposition also claim thatthe Government would retain staff who have “protectors” in higher posts.

With regards to Parliament, the opposition says the major aim to build a new Parliament in Kutaisi was to develop the second biggest city in Georgia and ensure its development.

They believe if the current leadership returns Parliament’s activities to Tbilisi, Kutaisi’s further advancement would be disrupted.