08TBILISI1245, RECENT DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1245 2008-07-18 13:24 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0935
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1245/01 2001324
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181324Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9778
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001245 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM GG
SUBJECT: RECENT DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS 
 
REF: TBILISI 925 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: The parliamentary minority faction has 
nominated one of three vice-speaker positions in Parliament 
reserved for opposition lawmakers and has filled deputy 
chairmen positions on parliamentary committees.  The 
Parliamentary Committee for Procedural Issues rejected the 
Labor Party's appeal to renounce their MP mandates on the 
grounds that the appeal was not written appropriately. 
Parliament has formally repealed twelve of the 31 opposition 
politicians MP mandates.  End Summary. 
 
Opposition Receives Positions in Parliament 
------------------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) The parliamentary minority, involving the newly 
established 12-member faction, "Strong Georgia - Christian 
Democrats", nominated MP Levan Vepkhvadze of the 
Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) for the parliamentary 
vice-speaker position.  Though the remaining two vice speaker 
positions are not expected to be filled, three vice speaker 
positions out of nine have been reserved for opposition 
lawmakers  In addition, members of parliament's opposition 
faction have been given deputy chairman positions on the 
following parliamentary committees: 
 
-- Paata Davitaia, leader of On Our Own Party, Foreign 
Relations Committee 
-- Nika Laliashvili, CDM, Defense and Security Committee 
-- Dimitri Lortkipanidze, On Our Own Party, Human Rights and 
Civil Integration Committee 
-- Gia Tsagareishvili, non-aligned, Legal Issues Committee 
-- Roman Marsigashvili, former Republican Party member, 
Agrarian Committee 
-- Carlo Kopaliani, former Republican Party member, Economy 
Sector Committee 
-- Magda Anikashvili, CDM, Healthcare Committee 
-- Giorgi Akhvlediani, CDM, Education, Science, Culture 
Committee 
 
Ruling Party Welcomes Opposition Participation 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
3. (SBU) Speaker of Parliament David Bakradze welcomed the 
creation of the opposition faction and stressed these 
structures would strengthen Parliament. Giorgi Targamadze, 
leader of the minority, said "this will be an active 
minority, who will form as a constructive, moderate 
opposition oriented on results."  The ruling party has made 
the following steps in an effort to work with the opposition: 
 
-- Parliament adopted a draft law to include an opposition 
member in the Council of Justice.  The opposition already 
decided that their representative in the Council of Justice 
will be another former member of the United Opposition, Gia 
Tsagareishvili. 
 
-- A constitutional amendment was initiated which would 
decrease the minimal number of MPs required to form a faction 
from seven to six. 
 
-- Parliament is working to compose a "group of trust" 
consisting of ruling party and opposition members considered 
to be reliable.  The amendment envisages a group that would 
incorporate four members from the majority and two members 
from the opposition, allowing the opposition to participate 
more actively in Parliament 
 
Parliament Refuses to Cancel 
Labor Party Mandates 
---------------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) The Parliamentary Committee for Procedural Issues 
rejected the Labor Party's appeal to renounce their MP 
mandates on the grounds that it was not written 
appropriately.  Four MPs from the Labor Party, including its 
leader Shalva Natelashvili, wrote in the official appeal that 
the Labor Party wanted to withdraw from the "headquarters of 
the ruling party."  The Labor Party explained that it does 
not recognize Parliament as a legitimately elected body and 
would not refer to it as the Parliament of Georgia. 
 
5. (SBU) As a result of the Labor Party's inability to 
renounce their MPs, Kakha Kukava of the Conservative Party 
and Giorgi Gugava of the Labor Party went head-to-head on a 
Kavkasia TV talk show on June 30.  Gugava sidestepped a 
direct question about whether or not his party would make a 
repeat appeal to Parliament.  Parliament has formally 
repealed twelve of the 31 opposition politicians MP mandates. 
 Two of the Labor Party's six MPs have entered Parliament 
 
TBILISI 00001245  002 OF 002 
 
 
while the other four, including Natelashvili, are not engaged 
in parliamentary activities.  The Labor Party MPs are 
receiving salaries from Parliament though they claim they are 
not taking them.  (Comment: Post understands that 
Natelashvili is still interested in taking his party's seats 
in Parliament.  End Comment). 
 
 
 
TEFFT

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