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Georgian Dream MPs Offer TV Debates to President

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, May 4
(TBILISI)--The ruling Georgian Dream party lawmakers have offered TV debates to President Giorgi Margvelashvili after the latter quit debates in parliament as a sign of protest on May 4th, following his annual address in the legislative body.

The Georgian Dream members claim that the president’s speech was too “short and superficial” and they were not allowed to receive answers on their questions.

“During the debates, if such is held, we are ready to ask him questions and tell him our views, we planned to tell him after the annual speech,” Archil Talakvadze, leader of the parliamentary majority, told reporters on Thursday.

The President’s Administration responded that the offer was “dishonest and not-serious.”

Head of the president’s administration Giorgi Abashishvili stated that Margvelashvili was ready to answer to all the questions and accusations after the address, which will be broadcasted by all media outlets.

“However, the majority did not let him do this,” Abashishvili said.

Margvelashvili said that he quit the debates as he was being asked “absurd and abstract questions” which were impossible to answer.

A member of the European Georgia opposition party Giga Bokeria stated that the majority’s offer to the president was a “cheap political PR.”

Margvelashvili accepted the debates after his speech and stated that he was ready to answer all the questions asked by the lawmakers.

It was the president’s final speech in parliament as his five-year term as a president expires this fall.

In his speech the president stated that Georgia has experienced progress in many directions since the 2012 parliamentary elections, when the Georgian Dream coalition defeated the nine-year rule of the United National Movement.

He said that progress was obvious for human rights protection, media freedom and the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

However, he said that the current state leadership has failed to create strong state institutions-a more democratic state, empower opposition and restore justice for those individuals who suffered inhuman treatment under the United National Movement leadership.