Parliament of Georgia

The Parliament of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს პარლამენტი, translit.: sakartvelos p'arlament'i) the supreme national legislature of Georgia. It is a unicameral parliament, currently consisting of 150 members; of these, 77 are proportional representatives and 73 are elected through single-member district plurality system, representing their constituencies. According to the 2017 constitutional amendments, the Parliament will transfer to fully proportional representation in 2024.

All members of the Parliament are elected for four years on the basis of universal human suffrage. The Constitution of Georgia grants the Parliament of Georgia a central legislative power, which is limited by the legislatures of the autonomous republics of Adjara and Abkhazia.

Parliament of Georgia

საქართველოს პარლამენტი

sakartvelos p'arlament'i
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Structure
Seats150
Current structure of the Parliament of Georgia
Political groups
Government (106)

Supported by

Opposition (44)

Elections
77 by proportional party list
73 by single-member constituencies
Last election
8 and 30 October 2016
Next election
October 2020
Meeting place
Parliament of Georgia in Kutaisi
Georgian Parliament Building
Kutaisi
Website
www.parliament.ge

History

Parlamento de Georgia, Tiflis, Georgia, 2016-09-29, DD 07
Old parliament building in Tbilisi

The idea of limiting royal power and creating a parliamentary-type body of government was conceived among the aristocrats and citizens in the 12th century Kingdom of Georgia, during the reign of Queen Tamar, the first Georgian female monarch.

In the view Queen Tamar's oppositionists and their leader, Qutlu Arslan (a Georgian Simon de Montfort), the first Georgian Parliament was to be formed of two "Chambers": a) Darbazi – or assembly of aristocrats and influential citizens who would meet from time to time to take decisions on the processes occurring in the country, the implementation of these decisions devolving on the monarch b) Karavi – a body in permanent session between the meetings of the Darbazi. The confrontation ended in the victory of the supporters of unlimited royal power. Qutlu Arslan was arrested on the Queen’s order.

Subsequently, it was only in 1906 that the Georgians were afforded the opportunity of sending their representatives to a Parliamentary body of Government, to the Second State Duma (from 1801 Georgia had been incorporated in the Russian Empire). Georgian deputies to the Duma were Noe Zhordania (later the President of independent Georgia in 1918-21), Ilia Chavchavadze (founder of the Georgian National Movement), Irakli Tsereteli (leader of the Social-Democratic Faction in the Second Duma, later Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia’s Provisional Government), Karlo Chkheidze (leader of the Menshevik Faction in the Fourth State Duma, Chairman of the first convocation of the Central Executive Committee of the All-Russian Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies in 1917, and Chairman of the Trans-Caucasian Seym in 1918), and others.

In 1918 the first Georgian National Parliament was founded in the already independent Georgia. In 1921 the Parliament adopted the first Georgian Constitution. However, shortly after the adoption of the Constitution, Georgia was occupied by the Bolshevik Red Army. This was followed by a gap of 69 years in the Parliamentary Government in Georgian history. The construction of the parliament building started in 1938 and completed in 1953, when Georgia was still a part of Soviet Union. It was designed by architects Victor Kokorin and Giorgi Lezhava.[1]

The first multiparty Elections in the Soviet Union were held in Georgia on October 28, 1990. The elected Supreme Soviet (the name of the simulated and pseudo-Parliament in the former Soviet Union) proclaimed the independence of Georgia. On May 26, 1991 Georgia’s population elected the Chairman of the Supreme Council Zviad Gamsakhurdia as President of the country.

The tension between the ruling and opposition parties gradually intensified, which in 1991-92 developed into an armed conflict. The President left the country, the Supreme Soviet ceased to function and power was taken over by the Military Council.

In 1992, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Soviet Union Eduard Shevardnadze returned to Georgia, assuming Chairmanship of the Military Council which was reconstituted into a State Security Council. The State Council restored Georgia’s Constitution of 1921, announcing August 4, 1992 as the day of parliamentary elections.

In 1995, the newly elected Parliament adopted a new Constitution. Georgia now has a semi-presidential system with a unicameral parliament. In 2011 Mikheil Saakashvili the president of Georgia signed the amendment of constitution which located the parliament in the western city of Kutaisi.[2]

On 26 May 2012, Saakashvili inaugurated the new Parliament building in Kutaisi. This was done in an effort to decentralise power and shift some political control closer to Abkhazia, although it has been criticised as marginalising the legislature, and also for the demolition of a Soviet War Memorial formerly at the new building's location.[3]

Starting from January 1st, 2019, Tbilisi is once again the sole seat of Parliament and all operations and meetings now take place in the capital, similar to the situation prior to 2012 move to Kutaisi.

Status and structure

The Parliament of Georgia is the country's supreme representative body which effects legislative authority, determines the main directions of the country's home and foreign policy, controls the activity of the Government within limits defined by the Constitution and exercises other rights.[4]

The Parliament of Georgia is a unicameral legislature. The Constitution envisages, following the full restoration of Georgia's jurisdiction throughout the entire territory of Georgia (including breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia, designated by Georgia as Russian-occupied territories), creation of a bicameral parliament: the Council of the Republic and the Senate. The Council is to be composed of members elected through a proportional system; members of the Senate are to be elected from the autonomous republics of Abkhazia, Adjara, and other territorial units of Georgia, and five members appointed by the President of Georgia.[5]

The Parliament is composed of 150 members (a reduction from a total of 235 in 1995), elected for a term of four years through a mixed system: 77 are proportional representatives and 73 are elected through single-member district plurality system, representing their constituencies. According to the 2017 constitutional amendments, the Parliament will make a transition to fully proportional representation in 2024.[6]

Election

The Parliament of Georgia is elected on the basis of universal, free, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot. Scheduled parliamentary elections are held on the last Saturday of October of the calendar year in which the term of Parliament expires. In case of the dissolution of the Parliament, elections are called no earlier than the 45th day and no later than the 60th day after the legislature is dissolved. If the election date coincides with a state of emergency or martial law, elections are held no earlier than the 45th day and no later than the 60th day after the state of emergency or martial law has been revoked.[7]

The 2017 amendment increased the membership candidacy age from 21 to 25.[6] Any citizen of Georgia with the electoral right and who has lived in Georgia for at least 10 years qualifies for membership of the Parliament. A person sentenced to prison cannot be elected as a member of Parliament.[8] A political party whose member is an incumbent member of the Parliament or is supported by the signatures of at least 25,000 voters can take part in the election.[9] For the 2020 election, the threshold for entering the Parliament will be reduced to 3% and parties will be allowed to form electoral blocs. However, beginning in 2024, the threshold will return to 5% and electoral blocs will no longer be allowed.[6]

Sessions and sittings

The first meeting of the newly elected Parliament is held no later than the 10th day after the election results have been officially announced. The first meeting of Parliament is called by the President of Georgia.[10] The Parliament meets in its official capacity for a regular session twice a year, from September to December and from February to June. In between the sessions, the President of Georgia can convene an extraordinary session of the Parliament at the request of the Chairperson of Parliament, at least one fourth of members of Parliament or the Government.[11]

Law making

The Government, a Member of Parliament, a parliamentary faction, a parliamentary committee, the supreme representative bodies of the Autonomous Republics of Abkhazia and Adjara, and no less than 25,000 voters have the right of to initiate a bill. A law is adopted if it is supported by a majority of the members of Parliament present but at least 1/3 of the total number of the members of Parliament.[12] A law passed by Parliament is to be submitted to the President of Georgia within 10 days. The President can sign and promulgate the law or return it to the Parliament with justified remarks within 2 weeks. If the remarks are adopted, the final version of the law is submitted to the President within 5 days, and the latter must sign and promulgate the law within 5 days. If the President's remarks are rejected, the initial version of the law is put to a vote in the Parliament and, if adopted, submitted to the President within 3 days for signature and promulgation. If the President fails to promulgate the law, then the Chairperson of Parliament does this after the respective deadline expires.[13]

Other powers

The Parliament has the power to ratify, denounce and annul international treaties by a majority of the total number of its members.[14] They can also impeach the President, a member of the Government, a judge of the Supreme Court, a General Prosecutor, a General Auditor, or a member of the Board of the National Bank.[15] The Parliament can be dissolved by the President of Georgia if the legislature fails to approve the incoming Government in the established time-frame.[16]

Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia

The Parliament of Georgia elects the Chairperson for its term by a majority of the total number of its members by secret ballot. The Chairperson of Parliament presides over the work of Parliament, ensures the free expression of opinion, and signs the acts adopted by Parliament.[17]

Headquarters

The Parliament of Georgia is headquartered in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. From 2012 to 2018, the regular parliamentary sessions were held in a new building specially constructed for this purpose in Kutaisi, then the second largest city of Georgia, 231 kilometres (144 mi) west of Tbilisi. The 2017 amendment entered into force in December 2018, containing no reference to Kutaisi as the seat of the Parliament, meaning that the Parliament will fully return to the capital in January 2019.[6][18]

References

  1. ^ "Parliament of Georgia. Parliament's Building". Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  2. ^ Bakradze, Nino. "A Tale of Two Parliaments". www.occrp.org. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  3. ^ "Georgia opens new parliament in Kutaisi, far from the capital". Washington Post. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  4. ^ Article 36, Section 1 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  5. ^ Article 37, Section 1 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  6. ^ a b c d "Key Points of Newly Adopted Constitution". Civil Georgia. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  7. ^ Article 37, Section 3 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ Article 37, Section 4 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  9. ^ Article 37, Section 5 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  10. ^ Article 38 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  11. ^ Article 44, Section 1–2 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. ^ Article 45, Section 1–2 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  13. ^ Article 46, Section 1–6 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  14. ^ Article 47, Section 1 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  15. ^ Article 48, Section 1 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  16. ^ Article 58, Section 2 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  17. ^ Article 40, Section 1 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  18. ^ "New Constitution of Georgia comes into play as the presidential inauguration is over". Agenda.ge. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.

External links

Chabua Amirejibi

Mzechabuk "Chabua" Amirejibi, (often written as "Amiredjibi", Georgian: მზეჭაბუკ "ჭაბუა" ამირეჯიბი) (November 18, 1921 – December 12, 2013) was a Georgian novelist and Soviet-era dissident notable for his magnum opus, Data Tutashkhia, and a lengthy experience in Soviet prisons.

Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia

The Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს პარლამენტის თავმჯდომარე, Sakartvelos p’arlament’is tavmjdomare) is the Speaker of the House in the Parliament of Georgia. The incumbent speaker is Irakli Kobakhidze, since November 18, 2016.

Predecessors of the Parliament of Georgia were the National Council (May 1918 – October 1918), the Parliamentary Assembly (provisional) (1918–1919), the Constituent Assembly (1919–1921), the Parliament (1921), the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (1921–1990) and the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia (1990–1992).

Constitution of Georgia (country)

The Constitution of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს კონსტიტუცია, sakartvelos k'onstitutsia) is the supreme law of Georgia. It was approved by the Parliament of Georgia on 24 August 1995 and entered into force on 17 October 1995. The Constitution replaced the Decree on State Power of November 1992 which had functioned as an interim basic law following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Giorgi Asanidze

Giorgi Asanidze (Georgian: გიორგი ასანიძე; born August 30, 1975 in Sachkhere) is a former Georgian weightlifter, Olympic Champion, World Champion, and three time European Champion who competed in the 85 kg and 77 kg categories.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili

Giorgi Kvirikashvili (Georgian: გიორგი კვირიკაშვილი; born 20 July 1967) is a Georgian politician who was Prime Minister of Georgia from 30 December 2015 to 13 June 2018. Prior to that he was Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development from 25 October 2012 until 1 September 2015, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1 September 2015 until 30 December 2015, and Deputy Prime Minister from 26 July 2013 until 30 December 2015. Kvirikashvili has led initiatives to advance Euro-Atlantic and European integration and highlight Georgia as an attractive location for foreign investment. On 20 June 2018, Mamuka Bakhtadze, who previously served as Kvirikashvili's Minister of Finance, was approved by the Georgian Parliament to succeed Kvirikashvili in a 99-6 vote.

Guram Mamulia

Guram Mamulia (Georgian: გურამ მამულია) (May 9, 1937 – January 1, 2003) was a Georgian historian, politician and campaigner for Meskhetian rights. A month after Mamulia was born, his father, Samson Mamulia was imprisoned and executed by Joseph Stalin's government. He was raised by his aunt. He graduated with a degree in history from Tbilisi State University in 1960. He began teaching at Tbilisi University in 1973.

Irakli Kobakhidze

Irakli Kobakhidze (Georgian: ირაკლი კობახიძე; born 25 September 1978) is a Georgian politician who was elected as the Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia on 18 November 2016.Kobakhidze graduated from the Tbilisi State University with a degree in law in 2000 and obtained his PhD from the Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia in 2002. After being awarded the LLM and PhD degrees at the University of Dusseldorf in 2005 and 2006, respectively, Kobakhidze lectured at various Georgian universities and simultaneously served as UNDP's project manager. He was also involved as an expert in strategic planning issues in the Council of Europe Office in Georgia and served as a member of the committee of experts for human rights and rule of law program at Open Society–Georgia Foundation. Kobakhidze joined the ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party in January 2015 and became its executive secretary. After the GDDG's victory in the 2016 parliamentary election, Kobakhidze was elected as chairman of the Parliament with 118 votes to 3 on 18 November 2016. His election was criticized by the opposition United National Movement party members, who accused Kobakhidze of being "a mouthpiece of public split and not of reconciliation in the pre-election period."

Leri Khabelov

Leri Khabelov (Georgian: ლერი ხაბელოვი, Russian: Лери Габрелович Хабелов) (born 5 July 1964) is a Georgian politician and a retired wrestler, formerly a Soviet Olympic champion in Freestyle wrestling. In 2012, he was elected to the Parliament of Georgia on a ticket of the Georgian Dream party.

Murman Omanidze

Murman Omanidze (Georgian: მურმან ომანიძე; born November 5, 1938) is a former Georgian politician and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia in 1991.

Niko Lekishvili

Nikoloz "Niko" Lekishvili (Georgian: ნიკოლოზ [ნიკო] ლეკიშვილი; born April 20, 1947) is a Georgian politician, former State Minister (Georgia) and Mayor of Tbilisi, member of the Parliament of Georgia.

Nino Burjanadze

Nino Burjanadze (Georgian: ნინო ბურჯანაძე [ninɔ burd͡ʒɑnɑd͡zɛ], also romanized Burdzhanadze or Burdjanadze, born 16 July 1964) is a Georgian politician and lawyer who served as Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia from November 2001 to June 2008. As the first woman she has served as the acting head of state of Georgia twice; the first time from 23 November 2003 to 25 January 2004 in the wake of Eduard Shevardnadze's resignation during the Rose Revolution, and again from 25 November 2007 to 20 January 2008, when Mikheil Saakashvili stepped down to rerun in the early presidential elections. She withdrew into opposition to Saakashvili as the leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia party in 2008. In October 2013, she ran for president in the October 2013 election. She ran against 22 candidates and ended third with 10 percent of the vote.

Politics of Georgia (country)

Politics in Georgia involve a parliamentary representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. The President of Georgia is the ceremonial head of state and the Prime Minister of Georgia is the head of government. The President and the Government wield executive power. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the unicameral Parliament of Georgia.After the Rose Revolution of 2003, the National Movement – Democrats dominated the party system. Georgia became a democratic republic following the first multiparty, democratic parliamentary elections of October 28, 1990. The Georgian state is highly centralized, except for the autonomous regions of Abkhazia and Adjara and the former autonomous region of South Ossetia. Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which had autonomy within the Georgian SSR during Soviet rule, unilaterally seceded from Georgia in the 1990s. While, as of 2016, the Georgian government recognizes Abkhazia as autonomous within Georgia, it does not recognize South Ossetia as having any special status.

Consideration of replacing Georgia's republic with some form of constitutional monarchy has become part of Georgian political debate since the Georgian Orthodox primate and other leading Georgians suggested the idea in 2007.

Republican Party of Georgia

The Republican Party of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს რესპუბლიკური პარტია, sak'art'velos respublikuri partia), commonly known as the Republicans (რესპუბლიკელები, respublikelebi), is a political party in Georgia active since 1978. Until March 2016, the party was a part of the Georgian Dream coalition that won the 2012 election, defeating the United National Movement.

The party was not represented in the Parliament of Georgia elected in the Georgian legislative elections of 2008, and only maintained its representation in Tbilisi City Assembly and Adjara's Supreme Council. The current chairperson is Khatuna Samnidze, elected in November 2013. The party's declared platform includes the reforms of local self-governance, economy and a free and independent judiciary system. It supports Georgia's pro-Western line and bids to join the NATO and European Union.

Vano Merabishvili

Ivane "Vano" Merabishvili (Georgian: ივანე "ვანო" მერაბიშვილი; born 15 April 1968) is a Georgian politician and former Prime Minister of Georgia from 4 July to 25 October 2012. A former NGO activist, he became directly involved in Georgia's politics in 1999 and emerged as one of the government's most influential members after the 2003 Rose Revolution, especially as Georgia's Minister of Internal Affairs (18 December 2004–4 July 2012).

Vazha Lortkipanidze

Vazha Lortkipanidze (Georgian: ვაჟა ლორთქიფანიძე; born November 29, 1949) is a Georgian politician, former State Minister of Georgia and Ambassador of Georgia to Russia, member of the Parliament of Georgia.

Vladimir Gutsaev

Vladimir Gutsaev (Georgian: ვლადიმერ გუცაევი, Russian: Владимир Гаврилович Гуцаев, Vladimir Gavrilovich Gutsayev; born 21 December 1952) is a retired Soviet and Georgian footballer and coach of Ossetian ethnicity. He was a member of the Parliament of Georgia from the ruling United National Movement party from 2004 to 2008.

Zhiuli Shartava

Zhiuli Shartava (Georgian: ჟიული შარტავა) (March 7, 1944 – September 27, 1993) was a Georgian politician and the Head of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia who was killed by Abkhaz militants during the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia in 1993.

Shartava was born on March 7, 1944 in Sukhumi, Abkhaz ASSR. An engineer by education, he was elected to the Parliament of Georgia in 1992. Shartava chaired the legal Council of Ministers and the Council of Self-Defence of Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia during the Georgian-Abkhazian War in 1993. When the city of Sukhumi fell to the Russian-supported separatist forces on September 27, 1993, Shartava with other members of the Abkhaz Government (Guram Gabiskiria, Raul Eshba, Alexander Berulava, Mamia Alasania, Sumbat Saakian, Misha Kokaia and others) refused to flee and were captured by the Abkhaz militants. Initially they were promised safety, however Shartava and others from the Council of Ministers were killed by the militants and according to UN report Shartava was excessively tortured.

In 2005, American journalist Malcolm Linton displayed his photo materials taken during the war in Abkhazia at the art gallery in Tbilisi, where Shartavas body was identified among the pile of corpses, clearly visible on one of the photographs. On video materials taken during the capture of Sukhumi by the militants, Shartava is carried out from the Government building and physically assaulted, after which he was forced into the van and taken to the outskirts of Sukhumi where he was killed with other Georgian and Abkhaz members of the government and their staff. Shartava's body was handed over to the Georgian side and was buried in the western Georgian city of Senaki. In 1994, Shartava was officially honored as the National Hero of Georgia posthumously in 2004.

Zurab Zhvania

Zurab Zhvania (Georgian: ზურაბ ჟვანია; 9 December 1963 – 3 February 2005) was a Georgian politician, who served as Prime Minister of Georgia and Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia. Zhvania began his political career at young age, making his first political steps as a member of Green Party, in the beginning of 90s. In 1992 Zhvania was elected chairman of Eastern European Green's and was first Eastern European to serve at the post. In 1993 Zhvania made first serious steps in Georgian politics as he was elected as General Secretary of Citizen's Union. From that point Zhvania served important role in Georgian politics until his death in 2005. 1995 he became the chairman of parliament and maintained the post till his resignation in 1999, which was followed with discharge of other ministers, whom Zhvania suspected in Corruption. From 1993 till 2003 Zhvania remained in opposition fighting against Shevardandze's government. In 2003, Zhvania united with other opposition leaders, mainly Burdjanadze and Saakashvili, held non-violent protests against the government. Protests ended with resignation of Shevardnadze and election of Saakashvili as the president. Zhvania became prime minister and served the post until his death in 2005.

Zurab Zviadauri

Zurab Zviadauri (born July 2, 1981) is a Georgian judoka who competed in the Men's 90 kg at the 2004 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal. He is a scholarship holder with the Olympic Solidarity program. He also won two silver medals on world championships (in 2001 and in 2003) and a bronze on European championship in 2002.Zvidauri is also signed to mixed martial arts-promotion World Victory Road, but has yet to make his MMA-debut. In 2012, he was elected to the Parliament of Georgia for the Akhmeta Municipality on a Georgian Dream coalition ticket.Zviadauri is a cousin of another olympic champion, Georgian-born Greek Judoka Ilias Iliadis (born Jarji Zviadauri), who also won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympic games.

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