Shalva Papuashvili elected Parliament Speaker 
Shalva Papuashvili elected Parliament Speaker 

Georgian Parliament has elected Shalva Papuashvili, Chairman at Parliamentary Committee for Education and Science, as the new Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday, replacing Kakha Kuchava. Eighty-eight MPs backed his candidacy, while one MP voted against.

In his address, Papuashvili thanked the parliamentary majority for nominating for the post of Parliament Chairman. He said: “This is the greatest honor and responsibility before the public and our political team. Correspondingly, I will do my best to serve our country and people with dignity.”

“This year has been one of the most difficult years for our country since independence. The public simultaneously faced occupation, pandemic, economic challenges, and forced polarization. Despite these difficult challenges, under our team’s leadership: We kept the peace without retreating; we overcame several serious waves of the pandemic; we restored the country’s economy to pre-pandemic levels; we created a solid foundation for the political stability of the country by conducting the local self-government elections appropriately.

Our doctors, our policemen, our soldiers, and our teachers were the allies of the Georgian people and authorities in dealing with all these challenges. Many thanks to them and to all the people who stood by the state during this difficult time,” Papuashvili underscored.

He pledged to “stand guard over parliamentary sovereignty as the Parliament is the institution in which the power of the people – the source of governmental authority – is expressed to the greatest extent.”

“I exercise the will of the majority of the people of Georgia. However, as chairman of Parliament, I will be the guarantor of the involvement and participation of the opposition elected by the people. Moreover, despite the existing confrontation, we have a good experience of cooperating with the opposition in this Parliament, which is related to a successful electoral reform. Against this backdrop, the boycott of parliamentary activities by a part of the opposition is particularly disappointing, especially given that the Parliament of Georgia has taken a central place in Georgian politics as a result of the reform of the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament carried out by our team.

With the new democratic standards, the multi-party Parliament has robust levers to oversee the executive branch of government. The role of the parliamentary opposition has increased in an unprecedented manner. All this creates special conditions for businesslike parliamentary discussion. Integration into NATO and the European Union is our main foreign policy priority. As you are aware, our political team has an ambitious goal to apply for EU membership in 2024. Precisely for this reason, over the next three years, we are facing an agenda laden with legislative reforms, which should play a pivotal role in our country’s legislative and institutional rapprochement with the European Union and bring the country’s democratic development to a new level.

Our national objective is to unite the country and bring back our Abkhazian and Ossetian sisters and brothers. And this Parliament will be complete only when the elected representatives from Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region will sit in this hall together with us. This is the goal that must unite each and every one of us. We have a distinguished country with dignified people, a unique history, a rich culture, and a church that stands guard over spirituality. This country and these people deserve unity, prosperity, progress, and development. And that is precisely why it is our special duty to dedicate our thoughts and deeds to this goal. This will be my main objective as the chairman of Parliament,” he underscored.

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