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Parliament Speaker Says the Body Plans to Strengthen Its Oversight Functions

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, January 16
(KUTAISI, Georgia)--Georgia’s Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze says that the legislative body plans to empower its oversight functions.

The statement came after the lawmakers’ questions and summoning of top police officials to Parliament in order to answer questions on high-profile anti-terrorist operations, raids or other notorious cases.

In most situations the top law enforcement figures preferred to meet with the members of the Parliament’s Trust Group, composed of only five lawmakers in the 150-member legislative body.

Only one out of the five members of the group represents the European Georgia opposition party. The four remaining are from the Georgian Dream (GD).

In previous years, the group was composed of six people. However, after the 2016 parliamentary elections, the United National Movement (UNM) and the Alliance of Georgia opposition parties in Parliament could not agree on the one oppositional candidate in the Trust Group.

“The Trust Group has already been convened on the special operation in Tbilisi, in November, and we do not exclude another meeting on other issues, including the special operation in Pankisi (conducted in December). It is the function of the Trust Group and naturally, this mechanism shall be actively used by the Parliament,” Kobakhidze said.

Kobakhidze highlighted that the Parliament needs to develop the resources in this direction.

“We have reiterated that in this aspect, the parliamentary resources are usually scarce and we need to develop our resources to better exercise our oversight functions. This is one of our ambitious tasks we actively work on and believe that in three years, the Parliament will have qualitatively different institutional capacity with much more developed resources especially in oversight sphere,” the Parliament speaker added.

The Trust Group members are not allowed to speak about the meetings with the top officials - the meetings are confidential since they may include classified information.