The Parliament will hold its first session in the new chamber, currently under construction in Kutaisi, on May 26, 2012, President Saakashvili said on Tuesday.
When this summer the Parliament passed constitutional amendment defining Georgia’s second largest city of Kutaisi as the location of the legislative body, it was believed that the relocation from the capital city Tbilisi would have taken place after the election of new Parliament; according to the constitution the next parliamentary elections are scheduled for October, 2012.
In his remarks made while opening a justice house in Kutaisi, Saakashvili only said that the first session in the new Parliament building in Kutaisi would take place on Georgia’s Independence Day on May 26; he did not elaborate further into details, which immediately triggered a speculation whether his brief remarks were actually a hint on possible early parliamentary elections. But as one ruling party lawmakers, Akaki Bobokhidze, who was one of the first to publicly voice an initiative of Parliament’s relocation three years ago, said the President’s remarks referred to the sitting Parliament and were in no way alluding to early elections. He also said that the sitting Parliament would only hold “a symbolic session” in Kutaisi on May 26.
President Saakashvili also said on October 4, that he was delivering his promise that Kutaisi would turn not only into “the parliamentary capital” of Georgia, but to “the second capital” of the country, adding that the Chamber of Control, the state audit agency, would also be relocated in Kutaisi, where a separate government office is also being constructed to house government members when arriving in the city after the Parliament’s relocation.