The Georgian parliament has approved the transition of all legislator activities from Kutaisi to capital Tbilisi, the step which has been on the agenda since coming of the Georgian Dream ruling party into power in 2012.
Parliament Approves Transition of Parliament Activities from Kutaisi to Tbilisi
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 24
The amendment which was approved by lawmakers on Friday with its first reading is strongly opposed by the parliamentary opposition, which says that the decision will harm Kutaisi development and state decentralization.
Before the parliament approved the decision the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that the Kutaisi parliament building, which cost more than 340 million GEL for the state budget, will be handed to them for the police regional center.
Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze says that the full transition of all legal activities from western Georgia into Tbilisi will be beneficial both for parliamentary activities and budgetary funds.
The ruling party members say that 2,5 million GEL is spent on the maintenance of Kutaisi parliament annually.
Presidential candidate of 10 opposition parties Grigol Vashadze claims that the Georgian Dream will not manage to relocate the parliament, as the “Georgian Dream will not be in power soon.”
Even if Vashadze wins the October 28 presidential elections, he will have no right to hamper the relocation, as parliament and not the president is eligible to make such decisions.
Kutaisi parliament was opened on May 26, 2012, and after several months, in October of the same year, the current ruling Georgian Dream defeated the nine-year rule of the United National Movement.
Many in the Georgian Dream party have stated that the location of the parliament in Kutaisi is inconvenient, which was opposed by the opposition.
In 2014, holding only parliament committee meetings was allowed in the historic parliament building in central Tbilisi.
Two more readings are left in parliament for final approval of the change.