One GD Committee Chair Quits Parliament, Two other MPs Consider Leaving

Irakli Kovzanadze, Chairman of the Parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee, is leaving the Georgian Parliament. According to media reports, Kovzanadze has already applied to the Committee on Rules and Procedures.

At a press conference on March 20, the Speaker of the Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, told journalists that Kovzanadze’s decision to leave is unrelated to the debacle concerning the Russian-style “foreign agents” bills. “He has had the desire to return to his profession for a long time…this became his main motivating factor,” he emphasized.

According to the media reports, two other Georgian Dream MPs – former Georgian Armed Forces’ chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (ret) Vladimir Chkhibaia and former Minister for Health, Davit Sergeenko – are also planning to resign.

Chachibaia himself said on the “Droeba” program of the “Formula” TV company that it is his “personal wish” and “persistent request” to leave the Parliament as he believes he is not suited to parliamentary life. “I was in the army for 30 years; my personal wish is to leave the Parliament and we’ll see what happens,” he said, adding that he remains a “loyal member of the [Georgian Dream] party.”

Additionally, Davit Sergeenko explained that there is a discussion about leaving his position as deputy. “Being a politician is not what I dreamed of. I prefer to work as a doctor. Undoubtedly, the 10th convocation is the last convocation when I am in the Parliament, public service, and politics,” he said.

Irakli Kovzanadze, Vladimir Chachibaia, and Davit Sergeenko did not support the draft law “On the transparency of foreign influence” in the first reading, which was withdrawn by the ruling majority in the face of mass protests.

Irakli Kovzanadze and Vladimir Chachibaia entered the 10th convocation of Parliament through the “Georgian Dream” party list. Once they leave, they will be replaced by the next members of the party list. However, as Davit Sergeenko is the majority deputy of the Saburtalo single-member district, his replacement would require by-elections.

According to Article 198 of the Election Code of Georgia, if a member of Parliament elected from a majority electoral district leaves the parliament in the period from January 15 to June 15, by-elections should be held in October of the same year, and if he/she leaves in the period from June 15 to January 15, then the elections will be held in April. Additionally, no by-elections for Parliament are held in the year of the parliamentary elections.

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