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Ruling Party Wants to ‘Study’ rather than ‘Investigate’ August Events
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Sep.'08 / 20:35

Davit Bakradze, the parliamentary chairman, said on September 22 it would be more appropriate to set up a temporary parliamentary commission, instead of an investigative parliamentary group, to study events ahead of and after the August war.

He said that a temporary parliamentary commission, as is envisaged in parliament’s procedures, is more transparent than an investigative commission in Parliament.
“An investigation should in no way be the purpose of the [parliamentary] group,” Bakradze said. “The purpose of this commission should be a comprehensive study of the events; it can also summon ministers and other officials from the executive government, who were involved in, or were linked to the August events.”

According to Parliament’s rules and procedures, an investigative commission can be convened to gather information on wrongdoings committed by “state agencies and officials, which pose a threat to Georgia’s security, sovereignty, territorial integrity, or to the [country's] political, economic and other types of interests.”

Bakradze said that the ruling party would consult with the parliamentary minority and identify the exact format of the group by the end of the week. The Christian-Democratic Party, which is the leading force in the parliamentary minority, demanded a parliamentary investigative commission on September 4.

President Saakashvili called on Parliament to set up, what he called “a group of rapporteurs” on the matter.

“I request you to set up a group of rapporteurs and hold political debates about the events of recent weeks,” Saakashvili told Parliament during his annual state of the nation address on September 16. “Let the opposition be in the majority in this group; all the ministries and officials – I myself am ready to meet this group – are ready to answer all questions.”

Opposition parities, which have no representation in Parliament because of a boycott, are skeptical of any type of parliamentary group to study, or investigate the August events. They say they do not trust the parliamentary minority, dubbing them “the authorities’ satellite parties.”

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