Opposition Asks the President to Use the Right to Veto

After the reached consensus the Parliament was ready to pass the bill of self-governance, which was about electing city council (sakrebulo) members through proportional system of elections and appointing governors (gamgebeli) out of them. But all of a sudden the opposition announced boycott to the parliamentary majority and left the session hall. At the extraordinary session the parliamentary majority, left with no opposition, passed “the law on self-governance” and “the electoral law”. The opposition did not expect such an action from the ruling party of course. It regards both laws undemocratic and asks the President to use the right to veto.  

Head of the Committee of Self-Governance and Regional Policy in the Parliament Roman Kusiani told the Resonance that one of the reasons why the opposition is not keen on the law is that from now on mayor of Batumi should be elected through direct system of elections. “Since the law is passed Aslan Abashidze, head of the Supreme Council of Adjara Autonomous Republic, will not be able to appoint mayor of Batumi according to his own will as he used to do it”, Kusiani states.

The opposition calls the statement an absurd and states that it support the electivity of mayors but does not agree that regional governors (gamgebeli) should be appointed out of associated councils members.

According to the law, mayors are elective everywhere except Tbilisi and Poti. The Resonance wonders why Poti was equalized with Tbilisi. There are two versions legislatives make about giving special status to Poti. One part of the ruling party states that Poti is a city without regional subordination and the other one states that Poti is a city with harbor. “There are several more cities in Georgia without regional subordination, but Poti turned out the only honored one where the President will appoint a mayor. By the way, Poti is not the only city with harbor either”, the Resonance states. It is still confusing for the newspaper why Poti was given status of a privileged city.   

Representatives of the opposition and the local population regard that while mayors in Tbilisi are appointed for political motive, mayors in Poti will be appointed because of economic interests. The President’s relatives, the Akhvlediani family, is thought to own the harbor in Poti and the Parliament’s decision has been regarded as defending interests of the President’s relatives.

According to the electoral law the Citizens’ Union of Georgia has passed, non-governmental organizations will complete central electoral commission only. The CUG will form the majority in commissions on other levels. Neither opposition nor non-governmental organizations approve the law. NGOs state that elections are mainly faked in district electoral commission and not in the central one.

In case the President does not veto the laws passed by the parliamentary majority, boycott from the side of the opposition poses threat to local self-governance elections. Oppositional parties are also planning to sue in the Constitutional Court concerning both laws. The opposition accuses the ruling party of passing not democratic laws and manipulating with polling buttons at the time when there was no quorum in the Parliament.


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