Archil Talakvadze has been elected the new parliamentary speaker " />

Georgian parliamentary opposition leaves session in protest

Archil Talakvadze has been elected the new parliamentary speaker

The Georgian parliamentary opposition left a session of parliament today in protest after having a clash with the majority.

While approving the day’s agenda, European Georgia demanded the resignation of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Gakharia, due to the recent events on Rustaveli Avenue when police used excessive force to disperse protesters. 

Ruling Georgian Dream party MPs did not support the resolution, after which the discussion erupted into a physical altercation. 

After leaving the courtroom, European Georgia member Giga Bokeria said it made no sense to participate in the meeting given the majority did not intend to consider the issue “most relevant to all of Georgia.”

“They are not even going to discuss the issue of the Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia. And we are not going to talk about routine bills at such an important time. This is the humiliation of the whole society”, said Giga Bokeria.

Representatives of the parliamentary majority during their speeches placed entire responsibility for the events of June 20 – 21 on the opposition United National Movement party. 

“We acknowledge and offer thousands of apologies — indeed, there was a monstrous mistake in this meeting room,” said Mamuka Mdinaradze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream Faction, implying the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy chaired by State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov, who took the chair of the Georgian Parliament which eventually led to protests.

Mdinaradze says the events that followed are entirely on the conscience of the opposition.

“They used the emotions of the young people who came out to protest, they directed their actions in the direction that led to the results that are already known… People were injured, and someone should take responsibility,” said Mdinaradze.

The question of the resignation of the Minister of Internal Affairs has sparked a debate in the Georgian Dream party itself as well. 

“Responsibility for the results is on the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, I would have resigned in his place,” said Bidzina Gegidze, a member of the Georgian Dream, at the meeting.

Giorgi Gakharia and former members of the Georgian Dream Gedevan Popkhadze and Eka Beselia have called for his resignation.

“Where Gakharia is, there is always blood and corpses. That is the reality”,  Gedevan Popkhadze stated. 

Today the parliament approved Archil Talakvadze as the new speaker of the parliament with 94 votes for and none against. 

He replaces Irakli Kobakhidze, who resigned because of the events of June 20.

A protest continues outside the parliament.


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