Georgian parliament refuses to annul mandates of 51 opposition MPs
The Georgian parliament has decided not to suspend the mandates of 51 opposition MPs.
Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, said that it has been decided not to suspend the mandates of the opposition MPs “for practical purposes”.
He explained the decision as follows:
“39% of voters supported the MPs who requested their seats to be suspended. The Georgian Dream gave them a chance to respect the will of their voters”.
Kobakhidze also noted that the “radical opposition” wishes to sabotage parliament and the government needs to prevent the sabotage by means of constitutional instruments:
“The constitutional instrument that I am referring to is the parliament’s ability to resist sabotage by refusing to terminate the parliamentary powers of sabotaging legislators”, he said.
Kobakhidze added that approximately twenty opposition members wish to take up their seats in parliament, but cannot do so in fear of public pressure and “persecution”.
The ruling party was supported by the members of the opposition Girchi party, Vakhtang Megrelishvili, and Yago Khvichia.
Megrelishvili believes that the Georgian Dream made the right decision.
“I think we started to move in the right direction. We have more time to once again clarify our position and reinstate that the negotiations that have been going on for so long, are very important”, Megrelishvili said.
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The spring session has began in the Georgian Parliament today, with only six of the 60 opposition seats occupied.
Two opposition MPs – leader of the Citizens movement Aleko Elisashvili and his fellow party member, Levan Ioseliani, decided to enter the parliament after three months of negotiations with the government.
Almost all opposition parties in Georgia believe that the parliamentary elections of October 31, 2020, were rigged and the overwhelming majority of opposition MPs boycott their seats in Parliament.
Previously, four MPs of the Alliance of Patriots party refused to boycott their seats and left the party to form a new one called the European Socialists (the Alliance of Patriots and its leaders still refuse to enter the parliament).
So far, four rounds of negotiations between the government and the opposition bloc have been held. However, the main demands of the opposition (releasing all political prisoners, and holding early repeat elections) were not met. The government also rejects the opposition’s offer to hold a plebiscite and let the people decide if they want to hold repeat elections or not.