Thursday, April 15, 2021

96 MPs, more than 90 bills – “We will not allow anyone to disturb this Parliament”

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Since December 2020, the legislature has approved about 90 bills. The rest are under consideration.

  • What is the degree of legitimacy of laws and other documents adopted by the people if the 96 deputies in the parliament are only a part of the voters?

Georgian Dream is working to reduce the 5% threshold to 3% in the hope that part of the opposition will end the boycott and that the constitutional amendment will still be able to gain the support of the required minimum of 113 deputies.

In order, that this changes To be implemented necessary Parliament Out Being, all little, 17 MP By Own Voter And County Before Liability Understanding And County Democratic In development To participate Admission – Shalva Papuashvili, MP representing the Georgian Dream, said on March 25. According to him, the initiative to lower the election threshold is a party signed in January with the party “Citizens”. Memorandum One of the conditions, which was later joined by the “European Socialists”.

Being in boycott mode Of the opposition For the most part, the issue of the electoral threshold is important in itself, but not so much that in exchange for such a change or electoral reform as a whole, the main demands – “the appointment of early elections and the release of political prisoners” – are ignored. These demands are absolutely unfounded and unacceptable for the Georgian Dream government.

In this situation, when only 96 deputies have entered the 150-member parliament, and the government and the opposition have not yet been able to reach an agreement, it is impossible to approve the constitutional amendments. Instead, the numerically deficient parliament is able to pass laws that require the support of at least 76 lawmakers.

According to the electronic database posted on the official website of the parliament, in addition to the distribution of parliamentary positions, the approval of the state budget or the declaration of double confidence in the government after the first session of the parliament of the 10th convocation, ie December 11, 2020

The list includes, for example:

  • Amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure – lifers are allowed to be released after serving 20 years of imprisonment;
  • Amnesty Law – Affected up to 800 people convicted of less serious crimes;
  • Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament – for example, the candidacy of the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia and the Deputy Chairman of the Committee was allowed by the parliamentary opposition, which was used by “citizens” and “European Socialists”;
  • Amendments to the Law on the Structure, Powers and Regulations of the Government of Georgia – The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia is again divided into two parts. Tea Tsulukiani became the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth of Georgia;
  • Amendments to the Law of Georgia on Conflict of Interest and Corruption in Public Institutions – The administration of the Interagency Coordinating Council for Combating Corruption has been transferred to the Government Administration instead of the Ministry of Justice.

The list includes bills that are incompletely approved in one or two readings. This group includes bills related to the termination of party funding or deregistration, which, according to the Georgian Dream, were initiated due to the “sabotage” of the opposition.

The ruling party was not categorically approved by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. It was noted that their content violates the “principle of equality” and is against the public interest.

In December, also without opposition, an important document was approved with the support of 81 lawmakers – a resolution on foreign policy priorities, the content of which was criticized by opponents, for example, for misrepresenting threats coming from Russia. Experts argued that a broad consensus was very important for such documents, which is unthinkable in today’s parliament.

The party “European Socialists”, composed of 4 deputies from the list of the “Patriots Alliance”, started working in the parliament on January 5. The representative of this party, MP, David Zilfimiani tells us that “Parliament is working intensively to approve important legislative changes” And without opposition MPs, this process is going smoothly, without resistance and productively.

“It was very difficult for the parliament of the 9th convocation to pass laws with the involvement of the opposition. There was a total quarrel and quarrel in the previous parliament. They cursed each other instead of the case. Not so today. We are work-oriented. We will not allow anyone to disrupt this parliament. “If the opposition comes in, comes in and works constructively, the people have chosen you.” – Zilfimiani tells us.

It turns out that the absence of other opposition parties does not detract from the legislative process?

Zilfimiani replies that it would be good to see other opposition parties in the parliament in a constructive mode and more oppositionists would do more things – “Now we are working with 6 oppositionists and imagine how many 60 opposition MPs would be able to”,

He hopes that at least one or two parties will enter parliament and collect the necessary number of MPs to approve the constitutional amendments – to get the amendment to reduce the electoral threshold. The approach of the “European Socialists” is as follows – “The lower the threshold, the better. “

Of the bills approved by the parliament after January 5, Davit Zilfimiani specifically mentions the amendments to the law on education, according to which all schools – pediatricians and dentists – should work.

European and American partners often remind Georgia that Parliament fully reflects the will of the people only when it represents all elected parties and MPs. Consequently, calls are increasingly being made to end the crisis and reach an agreement quickly between the government and the opposition.

“Georgian Dream” still does not recognize the existence of a real crisis and calls it artificially “sabotaged” by the opposition.

The Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, told reporters on March 25 that the opposition, which was in a “catastrophic state,” had two options:

  • “One is to listen and heed the calls of our strategic partners, enter parliament and end this artificially created crisis and this masquerade.”
  • “And second, if they continue to pursue destructive policies and Saakashvili’s radical policies, of course, they will have to go through marginalization.”

There are often hints from the “Dream” that entry into parliament is needed not so much by parliament but by the opposition. This statement was made, for example, by the Chairman of the Parliament, Archil Talakvadze.

On March 18, after the end of the first round of talks initiated by Christian Danielson, he said:

“Today, the parliament operates in a regime when it can make any decision legitimately, except for a constitutional change. Constitutional change is not a priority for us in any case, because when we made the reform, our goal was for Georgia to have a stable constitution, which the parties do not change in the parliament of each convocation.

It is our great desire for the parliament to work in exactly the way our society has chosen and therefore we are ready for fair and constructive steps to bring the opposition into the parliament.

If you want the truth, today this opposition needs much more than the ruling team in particular. In general, it needs the parliament, but first of all, the opposition needs to have a tribune and be involved in the process for which they were elected by the people … Every day when the opposition does not use these opportunities, time is lost for them. “

Georgian Dream has so far retained the mandates of 51 opposition MPs from 5 parties / blocs, who demanded their resignation on the basis of an application. 3 more deputies (from “Girchi”) have not written statements.

The legal acts approved in such conditions do not have the problem of legitimacy, as 2/3 of the total number of deputies are formally registered in the Parliament, but there is a problem of the quality of legitimacy. – Paata Manjgaladze, MP elected by the “Strategy Builder” list, tells Radio Liberty.

“The Communist Party worked alone and said – I work well, but the charm and power of democracy is in the difference of opinion and the truth is born through debate. This cannot happen in a one-party parliament. “There should be discomfort in the parliament and there should be competition, and there should be competition in terms of discussing the issues needed by the people.” – Manjgaladze tells us.

Paata Manjgaladze, like most of the other opposition MPs in the boycott regime, sees early elections as the only way to overcome this problem and the political crisis in general.

He hopes that within the framework of the political dialogue initiated by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in Georgia, the government will show constructiveness and Christian Danielson will not have to leave Georgia empty-handed for the second time.

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