Parliament Weekly Review. September 3-10, 2001

Zurab Zhvania is Ready to Resign

Speaker of the Parliament Zurab Zhvania is ready to resign from his post if his opponent parliamentarians collect 100 signatures against him.

The Head of Speaker’s Cabinet Petre Tsiskarishvili has made such statement on September 7th. Speaker’s secretariat already submitted the statement to the relevant structures of the Parliament. According to the latest information, non of the parliamentarians have signed the document so far.

Several Opposition factions have demanded resignation of Zhvania. They are going to put the issue on the agenda of the plenary session.

Chairman of the Opposition faction “Traditionalist” Akaki Asatiani, who is being blamed by other Opposition faction for hidden alliance with the Speaker, does not support resignation of Zurab Zhvania, saying that there is no such need. He thinks, that such actions of the Opposition is being dictated by the State Chancellery.

“Citizens’ Union” Supports Postponement of Self Governance Elections As Well

Representatives of the “Citizens’ Union” supported suggestion of the faction “Traditionalist” to postpone local self-governance election to spring of year 2002. Secretary General of the ruling party Edward Surmanidze stated, that “If Akaki Asatiani finds supporters within the other parties too, then “Citizen’s Union” would welcome the idea [of postponement]”.

Debates on this issue have been continued at the session of the Coordination Council of the Opposition (“Traditionalists” did not attend the session). The council consists of representatives of 12 most influential opposition parties. The Council adopted a resolution, under which boycott of local self-governance elections has been decided. However, local self-governance elections in Adjarian Autonomous Republic (on November 4th) would not be boycotted.

On September 5th press conference members of the faction “Citizens’ Union”  Vasil Maglaperidze, Zurab Adeishvili and Vano Merabishvili called upon the Opposition to change the Election Code.

Vasil Maglaperidze stated, that with the Opposition’s consent modification of the law on Local Self-Governance and Governance and the Election Code would be possible. “If the Opposition is going to boycott because of ‘bad’ legislation we would gladly let them change it” – said Vasil Maglaperidze. 30 members of the faction “Citizens’ Union” are supporting this suggestion.

At the same time, Maglaperidze said that population should elect authorities on each level of self-governance structures under majorette system. He said, “There are no parties in the country which came to power and stayed clean of corruption”.

The Majority Decides to Not to Send the Letter to President

On September 3rd Parliamentary Majority stopped collecting signatures for the letter, addressed to President Shevardnadze, as Edward Surmanidze, Secretary General of the ruling party has stated.

However, small group of the Majority members stood for sending the letter to Shevardnadze. “Those, who can not live in such situation should sign the letter. And those  who are used to current way of living may remain in their comfortable cabins until the ‘ship’ sinks” – said Vasil Maglaperidze. Finally it has been decided to not to send the letter.

Delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Visits Georgia

On September 2nd 50 member strong delegation of the Policital Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly visited Georgia. On September 3rd guests met Speaker of the Parliament Zurab Zhvania and other parlamentarians. Issues such as staibility in Caucasus region, Russian military bases in Georgia have been discussed.

Vakhtang Rcheulishvili, Vice Speaker of the Parliament, Member of the faction “Socialist” made rather scandalous statement during the meeting. He called the Parliamentary Majority “a single-party communist-fascist dictatorship”. In his speech Rcheulishvili talked about manipulating with the voting system at the Parliament by Majority members, the Election Code and the law on Local Self-Governance. He pledged, that he Majority is violating the laws, because there are four its members with suspended rights of parliamentarian participating in the voting.

Majority member, Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights Elene Tevdoradze criticized speech by the Vice Speaker. She said, that the Opposition wishes Georgia’s exclusion from the Council of Europe.

Georgian Representative to the Council of Europe Lana Gogoberidze supported this allegation. She said, that tension between the Government and the Opposition should not be shown openly in order to not to harm country’s interests.


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