Adjara Supreme Council Opens Amid Opposition Boycott

The 21-member Supreme Council, Adjara Autonomous Republic’s local parliament held its inaugural session on December 15 amid opposition boycott, with all seven opposition lawmakers refusing to attend.

Only two parties/blocs, the ruling Georgian Dream and the United National Movement-led Strength in Unity bloc passed the 5% threshold of the Supreme Council elections, held alongside the October 31 parliamentary elections. GD received 14 mandates, while UNM received seven.

Outside the Adjara Government building, the UNM-led bloc’s six lawmakers signed a memorandum pledging to renounce their mandates, while the seventh, Irakli Chavleishvili of the Republican Party, did not attend since he was in self-isolation, as Adjara Public Broadcaster reported.

The Supreme Council re-elected Davit Gabaidze as its Chairperson and Tite Aroshidze as Deputy Chair.

The six committees of the legislature will also be chaired by GD lawmakers:

  • Pridon Putkaradze, Agrarian and Environmental Issues Committee;
  • Tsotne Ananidze, Human Rights Committee;
  • Davit Batsikadze, Education, Science, Culture and Sport issues Committee;
  • Vladimer Mgaloblishvili, Constitutional, Legal and Procedural Committee;
  • Marine Gvianidze, Budgeting and Economic issues Committee;
  • Ilia Verdzaze, Health and Social issues Committee;

Minor group of civic and pro-opposition activists, that have been holding rallies in Batumi for six weeks over “rigged” elections, protested outside the Supreme Council building in parallel to the inaugural session. According to Adjara Public Broadcaster, police detained seven activists for putting protest stickers on the Council building.

Later, Irakli Chavleishvili of the Republican Party, announced in a Facebook post that he had decided to take up his mandate in the Supreme Council. He also left the party, which remains committed to the opposition boycott, as clarified by one of the leaders, Khatuna Samnidze.

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