Why are they moving the parliament?
Author: By Zaza Jgharkava
On Saturday, May 26, Georgia’s parliament session will be held in Kutaisi instead of Tbilisi. From that day on, the country’s supreme legislative body will settle in a new parliament building in Kutaisi, Georgia’s second city. As for the old building in the capital, people say it will be wrapped like a gift with the words FOR SALE on it.
The names of potential buyers of the building have already been floating about. Two of the marquee names include Israeli businessmen Roni Fuks and Zeev Frenkel, as well as billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. However, those are simply rumors for now. The main question is not who will purchase the building, but rather why is the government moving the home of Georgia’s legislative body from Tbilisi to Kutaisi in the first place?
As President Saakashvili has previously stated, this fundamental change of geography is a final liberation from Soviet thinking – “they wanted Georgia to be governed from one street. It was so in the Soviet Union; everyone lived on one street then, had houses on one street, they were running everything from one street. This is why Georgia was easy to divide then,” he said during his appearance at the Kutaisi Theatre in early May. .
Despite this noble argument, the political opposition is accusing the government of foul politics. For example, the leader of the Labor Party, Shalva Natelashvili, is certain that this decision by Mikheil Saakashvili is based on his hatred for Tbilisi residents.
“After Saakashvili stormed Tbilisi citizens in Rike St. on November of 2007, and at last year’s demonstrations in front of the parliament, he realized that he cannot fool, or frighten Tbilisi or make it kneel down. This is why he decided to seek revenge by depriving Tbilisi of the capital’s due status. The place blessed by King Davit Aghmashenebeli and King Vakhtang Gorgasali has been censured. The country’s highest legislative body has been ousted from Tbilisi. With one swing of his sword Saakashvili has beheaded Georgia,” Natelashvili said and added that “after Saakashvili is removed from power, Tbilisi will regain its geopolitical status.”