Archil Talakvadze, parliamentary majority leader of Georgian Dream–Democratic Georgia (GDDG), was elected as the chairman of the Parliament at its plenary session on June 25. The Parliament in which GDDG has a 106-seat majority elected Talakvadze with 94 votes to 0.
Talakvadze replaced Irakli Kobakhidze, who resigned on June 21, following the developments in front of the parliament, when a peaceful demonstration turned into a clash between the demonstrators and police, injuring at least 240 people.
Parliamentary opposition European Georgia and United National Movement have boycotted today’s plenary, which Talakvadze said is “an escape from political responsibility and ignorance of our constitution, legislation and parliament.”
Assessing the developments on Rustaveli Avenue, Talakvadze expressed his sympathy for those injured during the June 20 clash, and noted that the ruling party “does not intend to hand over political responsibility” to opposition.
After my election, I will spare no effort, will do everything to return the processes, among them, opposition, to fully working mode and to ensure busy, future-oriented and responsible policy,” the Speaker-designate stated.
Talakvadze then said no Russian MP has anything to do in the parliament of Georgia until Moscow continues occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. “There will be no compromise in return of our national interests,” he said, adding that the ruling party has made “an immediate response” to Sergei Gavrilov’s “provocative gesture,” who addressed the delegates in Russian from the Georgian Parliament Speaker’s seat.
Unfortunately, we could neither avoid this provocative scenario nor foresee it, however, we took a political responsibility and the highest figure defined by constitution, our party member, Irakli Kobakhidze made a descent decision [to resign],” Talakvadze said.
He added that ruling party MP Zakaria Kutsnashvili, who was the head of Georgian delegation to International Assembly on Orthodoxy – one of those who organized the event with the Russian participation – also left MP mandate.
According to Speaker-designate, interior ministry and police “followed their duties and protected public order, constitution, citizens,” after protesters tried to push through a police cordon, which was “the agenda of a certain group.”
Talakvadze then noted that the June 20 clash was the response to the “two-hour violent attack” on police “allegedly organized by a certain group,” which at some point attempted “to turn a peaceful demonstration [on Rustaveli Avenue] into aggression.”
Saying that everyone who “triggered disorder” will be accountable, Talakvadze noted that opposition leaders, who have been in the frontlines of these developments, have to answer to the questions “who called on [protesters] to rush towards the parliament” as well as “who called on disorder and violence?”
The Speaker-designate also added that the GDDG decision to hold next year’s parliamentary elections fully proportional with “natural threshold” was “a right and democratic,” as no one will have to “concede their political platforms,” or to join other political parties to enter parliament.
Protest rallies will resume at 7pm today in front of parliament of Georgia with peaceful demonstrators demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia, as well as the release of those protesters who were detained on June 20 and detention of those law enforcers who exceeded their duties during the Thursday’s clash.
Holding of 2020 parliamentary elections through proportional party-lists, was also among their major demands.
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