Parliament Weekly Review. October 1-7, 2001

The Majority and the Faction “Citizens’ Union” Keep Falling Apart

Parliament’s largest faction ‘Citizens’ Union”, which united more than 100 parliamentarians in 1999 is almost halved now. Two unions: “Tanadgoma” of Shevardnadze’s supporters, and “Alliance for New Georgia” have left the faction. The second union composes of the representatives mostly form Kvemo Kartli region. These two new factions might be regarded as a keystone for the President.

The Majority is under threat of dissolution as well. After the elections, the majority had more than 130 members. According to the latest data, now this figure is 118. Even if one more parliamentarian leaves the Majority, its integrity would be in jeopardy. In such case, according to the Parliaments regalement the same fate would share the Minority as well.

During October 1st closed session, Zhvania presented general principles of the platform of the Majority to its members. Despite that most of the statements were quite acceptable for the parliamentarians, they further encouraged members to quit from the “Citizens’ Union” faction, instead of joining them together again.

According to the new platform, the Majority should be established to follow certain strategic goals. Adoption of the anticorruption legislation package, which would enable retirement of the officials from the Government, who would possess ungrounded property, is among these goals. The platform also considers Constitutional reforms, in order to create functioning cabinet of the ministers. The project considers implementation of reforms in the executive branch of the Government prior to the Constitutional changes, to ensure integrity of the ‘economic team’ of the Government.

The platform project has been in process of elaboration of several days. Up to 50 parliamentarians, mostly “Citizens’ Union” faction members, including Majority leader Niko Lekishvili, put their signatures under the document. Two members of the ‘reformers wing’ of the faction Kote Kemularia and Vano Merabishvili did not sign the platform project. Furthermore, Kemularia left the majority. Vano Merabishvili is in the majority yet, but has already suspended his membership to the “Citizens’ Union” faction.

Kvemo Kartli Parliamentarians for New Georgia

On October 2nd members of the faction “Alliance for New Georgia” hold their first meeting. This faction has emerged from the “Citizens’ Union” faction. Initially it had 18 members, including 8 non-ethnic Georgian parliamentarians. After two days two more of the “Majorette” faction of the Majority desired to join the new faction. Irakli Gogava, former head of the Sub-committee for Relations with the CIS Countries, has been elected as a Chairman of the faction.

“Decision making in the “Citizens’ Union” was not transparent. Decisions have been made under dictatorship of the small group of members”, says Gogava, explaining reasons of creation of the new faction. He stated, that in the nearest future the faction is going to allege those members of the “Citizens’ Union” faction, who were lobbying certain bills with material purposes.

Gogava pledges, that the faction has opposed the party with the same name “Citizens’ Union” thus “ignoring thousands of its members and supporters”.

Faction “Alliance for New Georgia” remains in the Parliamentary Majority.

The Opposition Creates Alliance “Center”

Alliance of three Opposition factions “Traditionalist”, “Industrialists” and “New Abkhazia – Christian-Democrats” would be officially registered on October 8th. 37 parliamentarians would join in the new union.

As the leader of “Industrialists” Gogi Topadze says, the new faction would support any positive proposal and cooperate with both the Majority and the Opposition.

Akaki Asatiani, leader of “Traditionalist” faction says, that in case if the Majority dissolves, the alliance would cooperate with the factions, based upon the [old] Majority.

Leaders of the alliance name main goals of their union, such as restoration of territorial integrity of the country, liberalization of the taxation legislation, reformation of the territorial-administrative system towards regionalism, enhancement of legislative and managerial structure of the elections.

Abkhazian “Prime Minister” Will Visit Tbilisi

Representative of the Secretary General of the UN to Georgia Dieter Boden made a report before Georgian parliamentarians during the session of the Temporary Commission on Abkhazian Issues. He said that Abkhazian “Prime Minister” Anri Jergenia would participate in the session of the Joint Evaluation Commission for the Conflict Zone in Abkhazia on October 9th in Tbilisi.

Boden stated that the Commission would discuss the report on the situation in Gali region, prepared by the international experts in April 2001. Discussion of the document earlier was impossible, due to tense state in Gali, said Dieter Boden.

Representative of the UN Secretary General stated that the “Gali Report” includes several recommendations, such as further enhancement of activities of law enforcing structures in Gali through including local population into police units. The report says, that the UN together with OSCE would establish a human rights office in Gali. Two other recommendations of the report concern education of Georgian language in Gali schools and measures for economic and social rehabilitation of the region.