United States to help strengthen Georgian parliament
Georgia, Tbilisi, July 5 / Trend N. Kirtskhalia /
The "Strengthening Parliament" program was presented today in the Georgian parliament.
Parliamentary Speaker David Bakradze and U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Bass signed a memorandum of understanding between the parliament and the U.S. government today.
The program aims to improve parliament's functions in relation to voters and elections, debates, transparency, and institutional reforms.
Roughly $4 million will be allocated as part of the three-year program.
The program is implemented by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and USAID.
Bakradze said the document aims to strengthen parliament as an institution and its operations.
"Strengthening parliament and increasing its role in political and public life are priority areas of reform. Parliament's power is determined not only by its role as outlined in the Constitution, but also by how it performs its functions in reality," Bakradze said.
He added that the document pushes several processes to help parliament become more intensively engaged in relations with public and non-governmental organizations and voters.
Meanwhile, Bass said the signing of the document is a tremendous step. The U.S. government will enhance one of the most important elements of democracy in Georgia under the document - the parliament, he said.