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Parliament’s Weekly Review. July 16-21, 2001

Giorgi Baramidze: Formal Status Should Be Given to the Public Detached Force

Kist and Georgian population of the Pankisi Valley agreed that only those special divisions should enter the valley that local Kists and Georgians trust, – Giorgi Baramidze, head of the Defense and Security Committee in the Parliament (fraction “the Citizens’ Union”), announced at the press conference on July 19. Baramidze spent a week in the Pankisi Valley where he took part in the negotiations held between the local Georgian and Kist population.

According to the MP, the police posts in the Pankisi Valley were absolutely inactive. He said one part of local law enforcement bodies was not actually interested in improving the criminal environment existing in the valley. Moreover, it was even involved in criminal cases. This is exactly why the local population does not trust official structures, Baramidze presumes.

According to the MP, he has a list of those law enforcement bodies, who do not desire that the situation in the valley be settled and actively cooperate with criminals.

“The government should definitely keep contact with public authorities, the valley elders among them”, the Member of Parliament announced.

Giorgi Baramidze made an initiative: formal status should be given to the public detached force in order to the situation be settled in the Pankisi Valley.


Kakha Targamadze Offers the Public Detached Force Members to Work in the Police

The majority of deputies did not like the initiative of Giorgi Garamidze, head of the Defense and Security Committee in the Parliament, about giving formal status to the public detached force. Baramidze had made the suggestion at beyond the closed doors session of the Parliament on July 19.

Kakha Targamadze, Minister of Internal Affairs, Vakhtang Kutateladze, Minister of State Security, and Giorgi Baramidze, who had spent a week in the Pankisi Valley, had made speeches concerning present events at beyond the closed doors session.

After the session Members of Parliament refused to answer questions of journalists. The only comment they made was that nothing new was said at the session.

As to the Giorgi Baramidze’s initiative concerning the public detached force, Elene Tevdoradze, head of the Human Rights Defense Committee in the Parliament (fraction “the Citizens’ Union”), announced: “the matter should be determined by the law. Otherwise, there is a danger that another Mkhedrioni will be formed”.

“I do not know what a public detached force and it’s status mean”, Kakha Targamadze, Minister of Internal Affairs, announced after beyond the closed doors session. According to him, Luka Ramazashvili and his public detached force would like to keep order in the Georgia and they are welcome to do the same while being in Georgian police and internal armed forces.

“The Akhmeta police department is totally empty. If members of the public detached force want to work in the police I will give them the salary adequate to that of my other employees. Besides, I have established the Telavi battalion in frames of the internal armed forces. The contract salary is quite high there – 200 Lari. Salaries in the police ranges from 80 to 90 Lari.

The Minister of Internal Affairs admitted that he is planning to realize fundamental staff cleansing in Akhmeta police department. But, according to Kakha Targamadze, “sometimes nor this kind of action is a way out of the situation because the police does not have corresponding personnel”. 


Opposition Accuses the Government of an Attempt to Postpone Local Self-Government Elections

Since the Parliament Bureau did not put the bill “on local self-governance and governance” in agenda of special session on July 17, the opposition has refused to participate in the work of the session. The oppositional fractions attended debates concerning an issue initiated by “the Traditionalists” only and supported a resolution of the Parliament “about abrogation of the 1999 OSCE Istanbul agreement by Russia”. 
 
Representatives of oppositional parliamentary fraction distributed an appeal to the population on July 18. The appeal emphasizes the obligation of Georgian government towards the United Nations and Council of Europe. “Elections of all levels held in Georgia are regarded as faked, the base of which is imperfect electoral law… This is why European and international institutes demand that democratic and equal in rights law be passed as well self-governments of regions and cities be elected through proportional system of election”.   

In the appeal the opposition accuses the government of procrastinating the above-mentioned process for having another chance to fake elections or not to hold the self-government election planned on autumn. Thus the opposition strictly insisted on determining concrete date of local elections.

The thing is that representatives of oppositional fractions met Badri Khatidze, head of Regional Management Office in the State Chancellery, on July 17. The meeting was held beyond the closed doors. After the meeting leaders of the opposition announced that they support the idea of electing mayors and governors by the city councils elected through proportional system of election.


Georgian Parliament Warns Russia

On July 18, the Parliament unanimously adopted a statement on “Violation by Russia of the Joint Declaration of 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit”. The Opposition faction “Traditionalist” has initiated the invitation of the Parliament’s extraordinary session on this matter. “Traditionalist” member Tedo Paatashvili and chairman of the faction “Citizens’ Union” Revaz Adamia made reports for the Opposition and the Majority sides respectively.

As per statement, “Georgia expresses its utmost concern because of unfulfillment of Joint Declaration of the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit and states that Gudauta military base has not been liquidated in given period”. The document says, that “Delay of the liquidation process of the base by Russia, is a rude violation of an international agreement and evident support to the separatist regime in Abkhazia… Existence of foreign army in the country’s territory does not concur with the national interests of Georgia.”

The Parliament evaluated deliberate suspension of the withdrawal process of the base by Russia as a “Rude violation of Georgia’s sovereignty, open support of Abkhazian separatist regime and attemp to legalize de facto occupation and annexion of the part of the country’s territory after 1992-94 ethnic cleansing”.

Under the statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia must request OSCE, its member countries and other international organizations, to make a proper reaction on the fact of rude violation of the Joint Declaration of 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit by Russia. The Ministry would also start the negotiations with the Russian side for compensation of Georgia’s share of the military property of the USSR, illegally withdrawn from the country in 1991.

If Russia will not completely fulfill its duties under the Istanbul agreement, the Parliament will review the expediency of ratification the Agreement on Conventional Arms in Europe.


Faction “Abkhazia” Blames Adjarian Government for Alliance with Separatist Sukhumi

Abkhazian deputies blame leaders of Adjarian Autonomous Republic for contacts with the separatist regime in Abkhazia. Faction “Abkhazia” made such statement on July 20th press conference in the Parliament.

Faction’s member Geno Kalandia stated, that Abkhazian separatists try to dissolve legitimate Abkhazian authorities (Supreme Council and Minister’s Cabinet of Abkhazia in refuge) through the Government of Adjaria.

The parliamentarians pledge, that a person from Adjaria, Zaur Tsetsxladze, led the punishment operations against ethnic Georgian population in Gali (region, adjacent to Abkhazia) in 1999. The faction members connect this fact to Adjarian authorities. Geno Kalandia also recalled the ‘secret voyages’ of a former Batumi (Adjarian capital) mayor, presently member of faction “Agordzineba” (the Revival) Aslan Smirba (ethnic Abkhazian) to Sukhumi.

The faction did not present any further arguments against the Adjarian authorities.

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