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Review of the Parliament’s Bureau Session. July 17, 2001

During its extraordinary session, which starts on July 18th, the Parliament will not discuss the bill on “Local Self-Governance and Governance”, project of the Election Code and Amendments to the Constitution, under which Ministers’ Cabinet should have been created. Such decision has been made by the Parliament’s Bureau on July 17th, due to disagreement between the Majority and the Opposition on above subjects.

The extraordinary session has been invited under request of 80 parliamentarians. According to this request, the Parliament has to discuss the facts of violation of the terms 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit agreement, under which Russian military bases in Georgia should have been liquidated, and adopt the proper decision. The extraordinary session has been invited by the initiative of the Opposition faction “Traditionalist”, however both the Opposition and Majority agreed to this demand.

The issue is on the first place of the extraordinary session’s agenda. “Traditionalist” member Tedo Paatashvili and Chairman of the faction “Citizens’ Union” Revaz Adamia will make reports on the issue for the Opposition’s and Majority’s sides respectively.

Russian military bases’ issue will be the only subject of discussion of the session in which the Opposition will participate. As Vice Speaker Vakhtang Rcheulishvili (faction “Socialist”) has stated, the Opposition will stop boycotting the sessions if the bills of “Local Self-Governance and Governance” and Election Code would be discussed. The Opposition will not attend the discussions of several other less important bills.

“We are ready for further concessions” – said Rcheulishvili. Despite that the Opposition demands direct elections of the governors and mayors, they are ready to make compromise steps and agree to elect these authorities by the sakrebulos (councils) that would be elected under proportional principle.

“If we include this issue (the bill on “Local Self-Governance and Governance”) into agenda, it is not clear which version would be discussed” – stated Speaker of the Parliament Zurab Zhvania. Even though consultations of the Opposition with the President’s Regional Management Service (which elaborated the bill) were successful, the results of the agreements reached, have not been included in the bill yet.

Version of the bill, submitted under the President’s legislative initiative has been refused by the Opposition at the first stage of the consultations. Under the present legislation, President must withdraw the refused bill before submitting a newer version.

Speaker of the Parliament suggested to the leaders of the Opposition to hold further consultations with the Regional Management Service of the President to come out with the version, which would be acceptable fro all sides. Therefore, Zhvania also suggested to not to discuss the bill during the coming extraordinary session and invite another extraordinary session, after the elaboration of the new version of the bill is finished. However, Zhvania added, that it would be preferable to hold next extraordinary session before July 24th.

Issue of amendments to the Election Code was not included into extraordinary session’s agenda as well. The Majority and the Opposition could not agree on the rule of composition of administration of the elections (including the Central Election Commission). Consultations on this matter will be continued in the future.

The session also will not discuss the issue of Constitutional Changes regarding creation of the Cabinet of the Ministers.

Since the issues of Local Self-Governance, Election Code and Constitutional Changes were not included into agenda of the extraordinary session, the Opposition did not change its tradition and did not attend further discussions of the Bureau.

 

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