26 January 2021,   14:09
Changes to parliamentary rules of procedure diminish opposition’s rights - NGOs

Transparency International Georgia released an analysis of the proposed changes to the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Georgia, which, according to the organization, diminish the rights opposition MPs enjoy under the current legislation.

TI negatively assessed the draft law, initiated by the Georgian Dream, stating that the proposed changes aim to grant additional privileges for the parliamentary majority.

“The initiators of the draft bill noted that “certain gaps” have been identified in the current version of Rules of Procedure that entered into force upon Salome Zurabishvili’s inauguration. Georgian Dream MPs said the proposed changes aim to bring the Rules of Procedure in line with the main principles (that still need to be enacted) of the Constitution.

The proposed changes consider abolition of “parliamentary minority” by instead introducing vague notion of “parliamentary opposition” that will entail lawmakers not representing the majority group. In the meantime, the Speaker of the Parliament will have 3 deputies instead of 9, only 1 of which will come from the parliamentary opposition (instead of current 3).

Moreover, no less than 7 MPs (instead of current 6) will create a faction, while members of the single political party will not have the right to create more than 1 faction, and MPs from different parties/election blocs will not have the right to set up a joint faction.

It is impossible to develop democratic governance in a parliamentary republic by strengthening the rights of the [parliamentary] majority alone. Opposition’s engagement in important processes is significant to ensure strengthening the role of the parliament”, - reads the statement of TI.