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EU, U.S. Diplomats Hint More Talks for Parliament’s “Full and Vital” Role

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi and the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia called on all political parties to “carefully consider how to move forward toward an agreement that will allow the Parliament to assume its full and vital role,” in a joint statement released on December 11.

“We regret that it was not possible to reach a broad-based agreement before the first convocation of the new Parliament, despite the party leaders’ efforts,” the statement underscored.

Regarding the post-election talks, the U.S. Embassy and EU Delegations said important issues still remain unresolved, however, the parties have succeeded in reaching a preliminary understanding on comprehensive electoral reforms that can “significantly improve” the future Georgian elections.

The diplomatic missions said the sides can still succeed in bridging their divisions. “At the parties’ request, and if there is the genuine political will to reach an agreement, we stand ready to lend our continued support to this effort,” the statement concluded.

The fifth round of post-election talks, set to be held yesterday, was postponed after the press briefing of Irakli Kobakhidze, the lead negotiator from the ruling Georgian Dream party, on November 9, which the opposition considered incendiary.

Kobakhidze declared, among others, that GD-led Parliament would propose a bill canceling the election registration for a political party whose campaign leader is not a citizen of Georgia. He was apparently referring to the United National Movement (UNM) whose informal leader, former president Mikheil Saakashvili is criminally charged and remains in exile. He also said the elected parties that renounce the mandates will lose public funding for the next election.

The Georgian Parliament opened its inaugural session today, amid the opposition’s boycott. Some opposition party MPs elected to the parliament plan to announce their decision to renounce their mandates today.

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

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