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The News in Brief

Monday, October 7
Poll confirms Ivanishvili coalition’s lead

A new party poll ordered by the president’s administration conducted by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Reasearch, shows that 43 % of respondents support Giorgi Margvelashvili from the Georgian Dream colition, while 22 % support Davit Bakradze, the United National Movement (UNM) candidate.

Among the other candidates, 8 % support Nino Burjanadze from the Democratic Movement, 5 % the Labor Party’s Shalva Natelashvili, while Koba Davitashvili, MP of the Georgian Dream coalition and Giorgi Targamadze from Christian Democrats have 1 % support each.

17 % did not answer.

Respondents were also asked about Georgia’s aspirations, and the answers show that 80% support Georgia’s aspiration to join the EU and NATO. According to the survey, 66% do not support Prime Minister Ivanishvili’s policy to stimulate economic development in the last weeks and months; 25% support it. The presidential administration says in a statement that it ordered the survey because of the great public interest in the October 27 presidential election.

The survey was conducted between 15 and 21 September and 1, 204 people were questioned. The margin of error is +/- 2-3 %.
(Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Georgia to host international parliamentary conference within EU's Eastern Partnership

Two months before the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Georgia will host an international parliamentary conference on October 7 aimed at discussing the country's progress made towards rapprochement with the European Union (EU). In particular, the conference will discuss the following issues: compliance of the Georgian legislation with the EU law, a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU, Association Agreement with the EU and the role of Parliament in matters of rapprochement with the EU.

Parliamentarians of Georgia, Baltic and Central European countries, the members of the Georgian government, representatives of international organizations, diplomatic missions and civil society will attend the conference.

The conference is organized by the Georgian Parliament with the assistance of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Usupashvili, the speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Loreta Grauzhinene, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia Niels Scott, Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia Philip Dimitrov and Ambassador of the Netherlands in Georgia Hans Horbach will make a speech at the event.

Parliament confirms constitutional amendment

Parliament passed unanimously with 103 votes with its third and final reading, a Georgian Dream-proposed constitutional amendment envisaging the reduction of some of the PM’s powers vis-a-vis the parliament, when changing cabinet members in a new constitutional model, which will go into effect after the presidential election this year.

The amendment, confirmed on October 4, will keep a provision according to which in case of change of one-third of cabinet ministers, the entire government and the PM require to be re-confirmed by the Parliament. Without this amendment, a new constitutional model, which will go into force after the presidential election, would have given the PM the right to change the entire cabinet ministers without the authorization of the parliament.

The newly confirmed amendment also removes from the new constitutional model a clause, which was giving the PM right to initiate non-confidence vote against the cabinet in respect of any government-sponsored bill.

The new amendment also envisages the introduction of a new clause in the new constitution according to which if the Parliament fails to confirm state budget within first two months of new fiscal year, it will amount to launch of non-confidence vote procedures; but if the Parliament fails to confirm new government, the President will have the right to dissolve the Parliament and to call snap elections. Under the constitution, which is now in force, the President has the right to either sack government or dissolve Parliament if the latter fails to confirm next year’s budget before the end of current year.

Soon leaving, Ivanishvili looks ahead to the next twenty years

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili claims he has fulfilled all the plans he had for the first two to three years after going into politics, and now moves on to the next stage: plans for the next 20 years.

Ivanishvili said this during a campaign stop Friday in Ozurgeti, in western Georgia, to meet with locals and promote his candidate for president, Giorgi Margvelashvili.

The PM believes that after twenty years there will be ‘final victory.’

The last few months, Ivanishvili has said he will step down as prime minister after the presidential election in late October and go to the civil sector, but without saying much specific about what his future plans are.

“I want to remind you that in my very first open letter, I declared that I would stay in politics from two to three years, and I have fulfilled every promise made for this period,” he said.

“I leave you a European type of government and now I start working for a 20-year period. I will have a 20 year-period after which we will achieve final victory.”

The PM says he moves to the place ‘where there is a lot more to do.’

“I move there because everyone felt their own responsibility in order to increase professionalism which we lack in all fields,” he said, recalling his recent meetings with economic experts and journalists.

“I reminded them of their own statements and asked for arguments. They did not like this because they did not have arguments. This is what every member of society is obliged to – everyone must have a sense of responsibility and everything that one says must have arguments,” he continued.
(Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Parliament stops to work due to elections

The Parliament of Georgia held its last session until the election of the president, which will be held on October 27th, 2013. According to the legislation, the parliament is obliged to stop work a month before the elections. The MPs from the parliamentary minority and majority will continue to work in the election headquarters of their candidates for the president and participate in the presentations of their election program.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgia, Moldova agree to cooperate in process of European integration

Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Pandjikidze and her Moldovan counterpart Natalia Gherman has signed in Chisinau on Saturday a joint statement on cooperation between the two countries in the process of European integration. The main themes of the meetings of Maya Pandjikidze with the leadership of Moldova were the issues of European integration, especially in the context of the Eastern Partnership Summit planned for November in Vilnius, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia told Trend. Earlier, the head of the Georgian Foreign Ministry on Friday held a meeting with Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti and Parliament Speaker Igor Corman.

Prospects of Georgia’s accession to Euro-Atlantic structures discussed in Slovenia

The Defense Ministers of Georgia and Slovenia, Irakli Alasania and Roman Jakic, met in Slovenia within the framework of the South-Eastern Europe countries ministers' meeting and discussed prospects of Georgia's accession to Euro-Atlantic structures.

"Georgia has the support of Slovenia in the NATO integration process. I am confident that Slovenia will support Georgia's accession to NATO at the summit to be held next year," Alasania said.

Georgia's accession into the initiative of the defense ministerial of South- Eastern Europe countries was also focus of attention.

"This will help Georgia with its integration into NATO. Joint work in regional initiatives will further strengthen support for Georgia's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures," Jakic said.

"The participating countries have for the first time discussed regional initiatives. We are discussing the security situation not only in the Balkans, but also try to take care of security and defence in the whole region jointly with other countries. I am glad that Georgia is involved in this initiative and will soon be involved in consulting discussion with a full member the status," Jakic said.