Parliament Postpones Debates on CIS

(civil.ge) - The opposition lawmakers agreed to postpone debate with consequent voting on a draft resolution calling for Georgia's withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) after the parliamentary majority refused to support the document.

We do not think that it would be right to take this decision [on quitting CIS] now. We refrain to debate on this issue now, MP Maia Nadiradze, the parliamentary majority leader, said.

We should choose the best timing for quitting CIS and it should not be a decision based on emotions, Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze said.

The Democratic Front parliamentary faction uniting MPs from the opposition Conservative and Republican parties, which has proposed the draft resolution, had the right to demand the voting. The document would have been rejected in a voting because of the parliamentary majority's objection, but the vote could have become a powerful motive in the opposition lawmakers' hands to stage a fierce criticism of the ruling party. Saying No to quitting CIS is regarded to be highly unpopular move among Georgian voters. Opposition lawmakers also said that they were ready for compromise by not demanding voting in order to avoid showing disagreements within the Georgian Parliament against the background of current tensions with Russia.

But MP Davit Berdzenishvili of the Democratic Front faction demanded from the parliamentary majority to set at least a tentative date, when the ruling party will be able to debate on the issue.

During our closed-door consultations [with the opposition lawmakers on November 9] we have talked about this possible tentative dates of making this decisions and I will refrain to publicly speak about the date now, Nino Burjanadze, the Parliamentary Chairperson, said in a response.

We agree to postpone voting and debate on this issue, but under the condition that the debates will take place in December. If there will be no debates by mid-December we will demand immediate voting on the issue, MP Berdzenishvili said.

Withdrawal from the CIS is of strategic importance… We need to launch new politics and to finally eliminate remnants of Shevardnadze-era policy and pull out from the CIS… I do not see any reason why we should remain in the CIS. The President [Saakashvili] plans to participate in the CIS summit [in late November]; it is his right. But I do not want to see my country's President to be humiliated there, he added.

On November 16 Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze plans to leave for St. Petersburg to participate in the parliamentary summit of the CIS-member countries.

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