Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze appeared on question time on 31 May at the request of the opposition European Georgia party.
This is the new procedure under the Parliament’s new Rules of Procedure – an instrument obliging government officials to respond from the Parliament rostrum to lawmakers’ questions submitted beforehand. It is the second time Prime Minister is summoned in this fashion.
PM Bakhtadze was asked about the obligatory pension system, bank regulations, possible links of Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, to recent developments around TBC Bank, as well as the possibility of expansion of the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list through amending it with Russian citizens.
Speaking about the pension system, the Prime Minister hailed it as “the only correct way towards dignified retirement,” adding that if the opposition had been daring enough to launch reforms while in power, the amount of current pensions would have been twice as high by now.
On the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list, Bakhtadze said that consultations are underway with relevant agencies on expanding the list, which currently contains 33 individuals, mostly Abkhaz and South Ossetian militants.
The Prime Minister also focused on recent developments around TBC Bank, saying that the sanctions used by the National Bank were “legitimate.” He denied any involvement of Bidzina Ivanishvili in the process as “political speculation.”
The opposition asked Bakhtadze a question about the Anaklia deep sea port project with the Prime Minister responding that he was personally engaged to ensure that this “strategic project” appeared in the list of priority projects approved by the European Union.
“The state will fulfill its commitments; the Anaklia Development Consortium and the private sector should fulfill their commitments and the project will be implemented,” he added.
In his final remarks, Mamuka Bakhtadze noted that the country is facing two serious challenges – occupation and poverty, calling on the opponents to consolidate for tackling these challenges.
The opposition lawmakers said that they failed to receive concrete answers to their questions. The ruling party MPs welcomed his intervention.