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Opposition MPs Demand Answers over Demolished Church

Opposition lawmakers demanded on May 22 that Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli provide Parliament with a full explanation  of events surrounding the demolition of an Orthodox church in the Khelvachauri district of Adjara on May 18.

President Saakashvili met with Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church Illia II on May 21 to discuss the issue. The mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, who also attended the meeting, told reporters that the problem, which had been a result of ?a misunderstanding,? had been resolved.

Lawmakers from the ruling National Movement party tried in Parliament on May 22 to avoid further discussion of the issue by saying that there was no need to further politicize the issue as the president and the patriarch had already resolved the problem.

?After the meeting between the president and the patriarch, the ruling party told us that the incident was over and the problem resolved? But it is inadmissible to leave the population without any information about what really happened and who ordered and executed this order to demolish the church,? MP Pikria Chikhradze of the opposition New Rights party said.

?We can only welcome the fact that the problem has been resolved as a result of this meeting, but there is a legal side of the issue and we require answers? Those responsible for demolishing the church should be punished,? MP Davit Berdzenishvili of the opposition Republican Party said.

In defense, lawmakers from the ruling party, accused the opposition of deliberately politicizing the issue.

?It is a clear attempt by politically bankrupt [parties] to use the issue for their own political purposes,? MP Giga Bokeria of the National Movement party said.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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