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Parliament Bureau Session. October 15, 2001

The Bureau discussed agendas of extraordinary session of October 17th and plenary sessions of October 23-26. On October 17th the Parliament will discuss draft of the bill regarding changes to the Law on State Budget for Year 2001, which consider reduction of the expenses by 164,6 million Georgian Laris. Member of “Agordzineba” faction Valeri Gelbakhiani demanded hearing of the report on the budget issue by State Minister Gia Arsenishvili, instead of Finance Minister Zurab Nogaideli. “On October 17th we will have to legalize budget catastrophe. Budget problems are not fault only of those, who sit in the chair of Finance Minister,” said Chairman of the faction “United Georgia” Giorgi Targamadze. Finally, the Bureau suggested President to appoint Gia Arsenishvili as a reporter on budget issues.

During the plenary session the Parliament will discuss the bill on the “Amendments to the Organic Law “The Election Code of Georgia””. Bureau members received copy of the bill on “Prolongation of the Authority of the Local Self-Governance Structures – Sakrebulos”. The bill has been elaborated by the Legal Committee of the Parliament in connection with postponement of the local self-governance elections. After some of Bureau members emphasized legal errors in the bill, member of the “Industrialists” faction Zurab Tkemaladze demanded exclusion of the bill from the agenda and conduction of local self-governance elections before December 15-25, e.g. before the term of authority of present self-governance bodies is expired. Representatives of other Opposition factions did not support Tkemaladze’s statement. Valeri Gelbakhiani said that the Opposition did not have consultations regarding this matter yet. In case if the Parliament would not vote for postponement of the elections, then the Opposition would demand immediate changes to the Law on Self Governance in order to ensure that the elections of the second level would be conducted under the proportional system.

Elaboration of the bill was preceded by the letter of the President to the Parliament, demanding activation of the legal mechanism for the postponement of the elections. President’s request was based on the recommendations of the Central Election Commission to postpone the elections for one year. The Commission has adopted such decision due to absence of proper finding in the budget. But as Parliamentary Secretary of the President Valeri Khaburzania has stated, the elections were postponed not only because financial problems, but also due to fact that political forces within the Parliament failed to reach understanding in the number of issues.

Finally the Bureau decided to include discussion of the bill into agenda of the plenary session of October 23-26. However, a special commission for the issue of postponement of the elections will be created in the Parliament.

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