Saakashvili: 'Parliament Relocation Historic Reform'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Jun.'11 / 09:45

Moving various branches of government from the capital city, Tbilisi, to other parts of the country shows that "decentralization process" in on the right track. President Saakashvili said.

He made the remarks while speaking at a ceremony in Batumi on June 25 marking 15th anniversary of the Georgian Constitutional Court, which was moved from Tbilisi to the Black Sea resort town in 2006.

Saakashvili said that a decision to relocate next Parliament from Tbilisi to Georgia's second largest city of Kutaisi in the western part of the country, was "a historic reform, whose importance cannot be overestimated."

He also said that the Parliament will be moved to Kutaisi no matter what the opponents might say.

The constitutional amendment on Parliament's relocation was passed with its first and second reading on June 21 and June 24, respectively. The opposition is against saying that it is causing unjustified expenses; the opponents also say that by moving the legislative body from proximity to the executive it would affect negatively on its oversight functions over the Tbilisi-based executive government. 

Saakashvili suggested that the opposition politicians were against of such move, because they, if elected in the next Parliament, did not want to leave the capital and work in Kutaisi.

"Those who do not want Kutaisi, they will fail to get there," Saakashvili said, suggesting that opponents of the decision will not be elected in the legislative body in 2012 parliamentary elections.

"The Georgian people will not let them into Kutaisi [referring to Parliament]. Those for whom Kutaisi, Batumi, Chkhorotsku, Kharagauli, Sokhumi and other [towns] are equally precious, will be allowed into [Parliament]," Saakashvili said.

"That's new Georgia," he continued. "Everything will be decided not by those same 100 people gathering at the same street [apparently alluding on protest rallies on Rustaveli Avenue], but by 4.7 million people, who are the main decision-makers about the future of thier country."

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