17 May, 2012

We contacted Mikheil Machavariani, Vice-Speaker of Parliament by telephone when he was surveying the building of Parliament under construction in Kutaisi (Western Georgia, the city where by the initiative of authorities the Parliament will be moved).

M.M. – It was scheduled that the chamber for plenary sessions would be ready by May 26. I and Khatuna Gogorishvili inspected the construction and got convinced that everything is done ahead of schedule. The entire building will be completed by the end of

Q. – When they talk about constitutional amendments, we often hear the assessments that adjusting it to one person (Bidzina Ivanishvili) isn’t right.
M.M. – Legal litigation means nothing for us. The main thing is to give him the right to vote.
Q. – But Ivanishvili declared that he hasn’t lived in Georgia for the last ten years. Does it mean that the change won’t be applied to him?
M.M. – For that reason the amendment says that it’s obligatory for a person to have lived in Georgia for 10 year and for the last three years – permanently. According to the amendment to the Constitution, citizens from the age of 21 will have the right to be elected in Georgian Parliament. In majority of EU countries there is 21-year qualification to be elected in the legislative organ, in some – it’s 18 years.
Q. – But giving the citizens of EU countries active election rights was a topic for discussions.
M.M. – The commission on specifying the voters’ list will check everything.
Q. – How can the commission check the list of those who live abroad?
M.M. – Constitutional amendment that passed the first hearing will enable the EU citizens to run for a seat in Parliament. This time the amendments didn’t consider giving right to EU citizens to vote. We’ll agree this with our oppositional colleagues till the second hearing. If you are interested in my point of view, I’m against it.
Q. On May 27, the ‘Georgian Dream’ begins its pre-election campaign with an action on the Freedom Square.
M.M. – Who and how begins election campaign is the matter of his taste. We have a lot of work to do and we are busy with it.
Q. – But actually you should be interested in Bidzina Ivanishvili’s election campaign – he is planning to come to Parliament by 2/3 of vote.
M.M. – It’s up to the voters to decide who comes to Parliament and what the percentage will be.
Q. – How would you assess declaration of Russia’s antiterrorist committee which blames Georgian authorities for the weapons found in Abkhazia and attempt to intervene in Sochi Olympics?
M.M. – It’s good that Georgians didn’t outstrip Russia in making assessments. There is such a practice – a word about the so-called armed formations uttered here, sometimes is caught up by Abkhazs and sometimes – by Russians.


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