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Saakashvili Clarifies Position on Parliament Relocation Issue
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Nov.'11 / 19:04

President Saakashvili said on Tuesday evening, that although the Parliament would hold first session in its new building in the country’s second-largest city of Kutaisi on May 26, 2012, the legislative body would permanently be relocated to Kutaisi after the elections later next year.

This formulation by Saakashvili is in contrast to his previous remarks on the same issue made on November 7, when he said: “Parliament will be relocated to Kutaisi from May 26; not just one session [will be held in Kutaisi on May 26], the Parliament will be ready to hold its sittings in Kutaisi.”

These remarks by the President earlier this month triggered speculation that he might be hinting on possible early parliamentary elections. Constitutional amendment passed by the Parliament on July 1 says that the relocation of Parliament from the capital city Tbilisi to Kutaisi will take place only after the election of new Parliament; according to the constitution the next parliamentary elections are scheduled for October, 2012.

After those remarks by Saakashvili, the ruling party lawmakers had to strongly deny any possibility of early elections.

President Saakashvili again made a statement about the Parliament’s relocation to Kutaisi and about its relocation date earlier on November 22, which although was not fully similar to his November 7 remarks, but neither disavowing them.

But later on the same day, on November 22, when meeting with cabinet ministers in a newly built government office in Kutaisi, Saakashvili again commented on the issue, this time stating: “The first session [of the Parliament] will be held on May 26 [in Kutaisi] and after elections the parliament will permanently be relocated to Kutaisi.”

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