Transparency International (TI) Georgia presents an assessment of the performance of the Georgian Parliament in the first year

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As a result of the October 2012 parliamentary election, the new, 2012-2016 Parliament of Georgia assumed working. Transparency International (TI) Georgia presents the assessment of the performance of the Georgian Parliament in the first year. The assessment period encompasses the time period from October 21, 2012 when the (first gathering of the newly elected Parliament) to October 21, 2013.

Assessments are based on the information researched by our organization, observations of our parliamentary office and the statistical information requested from the Parliament.

General Statistics

  • The Parliament discussed 620 draft laws, from which 375 were adopted into laws: 2 amendments to the Constitution, 36 organic laws, 325 laws and 12 amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament. Initiators withdrew their legislative initiatives 30 times (in total, 80 draft laws).
  • In the reporting period, the President of Georgia exercised the right to veto and returned the draft laws with comments to the Parliament 20 times. In all of these cases Parliament did not take the President’s comments into account.
  • The parliamentary minority boycotted the sessions three times during the first year of work of the Parliament.
  • The members of the Parliament initiated the most draft laws (620 in total), followed by the government.

Performance of the Members of the Parliament

  • The research showed that during the first year of work of the Parliament, 121 Members of the Parliament used their right to address the plenary session and the right to initiate legislation was used by only 54 Members.
  • Among the 51 Members of the Parliament who addressed the plenary more than 30 times during the first year, 28 are representatives of the Majority, 21 are representatives of the Minority, while 2 did not belong to either.
  • Besides, there were 28 Members of the Parliament, who have not initiated any legislation for the past year and have not addressed the plenary either. 14 of them are members of the Parliamentary majority.

Public opinion concerning the Georgian Parliament and individual MPs

  • Parliament is the most important representative institution of the government of Georgia. Therefore, it is especially interesting, how does this institution represent the people that elected it, according to the opinion of the voters.
  • In the time period between 3-26 October 2013 the Caucasus Research Resource Centers  (CRRC) conducted TI Georgia commissioned polling of public opinion throughout the country. The poll reflects opinion of Georgian language speaking citizens of Georgia, residing in the country, pertaining various issues of public policy, among them functioning of the Parliament.
  • As the poll shows, the population is more or less interesting in the work of legislative body: Half of the respondents say they follow the information on the work of the Parliament  
  • Only 28% of the respondents could name number of the Members of the Parliament. It must be noted that, 46% of them thought that 150 Members of the Parliament was too much for the country like Georgia, and 49% thinks that the number of the Members of the Parliament is enough.
  • Among the individual Members of the Parliament, the Chair of the Parliament is most recognized: Davit Usupashvili was named by 83% of the respondents. Unfortunately, same popularity is not fate of the majoritarian Members of the Parliament: only 41% of the respondents know who represents their constituency in the legislative body.
  • The respondents were asked to name the most active Member of the Parliament. 14% think that none of them is active enough, 53% of them could not or did not name such MP. Eka Beselia has been identified as the most active MP, garnering 6% by respondents..
  • On the question, which MP do you trust the most, 25% of the respondents answered that they do not trust any of them, 51% could not or did not name such MP.
  • On the question who is the most trusted politician, the first two places are shared by current and former chairmen of the Parliament, 6% and 4% respectfully. Also, Davit Bakradze is the only representative from the former governing party, that made it to the list.
  • 1% of the respondents incorrectly named Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister at that time, and who was never a Member of the Parliament.
  • Concerning the Parliament, as an institution, only one fourth of our respondents say they trust the Parliament, which is a little more than those who do not trust it (23%).
  • According to the majority of the respondents (54%) the biggest challenge facing the Parliament is political confrontation between the Members of the Parliament.
  • On the question, where should the Parliament of Georgia be located, 66% said, it should be in Tbilisi, while 20% think it should remain in Kutaisi.

Women in Parliament

  • As of 21 October 2013, there were 18 female Members of Parliament. Among them, 12 are members of the Parliamentary majority, 5 – Parliamentary minority and 1 does not belong to either. The number (18) is 12% of the total number of all (150) Members of the Parliament.
  • It is noteworthy that average number of female MPs in unicameral Parliaments around the world is 21,8%. Based on 12%, Georgia ranks 105 with Syrian Arab Republic, according to ranking of woman MPs in the legislative body.
  • Out of 51 Members of Parliament who often made speeches at the plenary sittings, one fifth are females: 11 female MPs spoke on average 59 times at plenary sessions, and 40 male MPs spoke on average 71 times.
  • In the reporting period, female MPs were on average more active, than their male colleagues: Female MPs recorded 70 legislative initiatives (on average 3,9 initiatives per female MP), while male MPs registered 355 legislative initiatives (on average, 2,7 legislative initiatives per male MP).

Performance of parliamentary committees

  • We used the following criteria to assess the work of parliamentary committees: 1. Number of sittings held; 2. Number of draft laws discussed; 3. Number of draft laws initiated.
  • The Legal Issues committee held the most sittings (89), followed by Budget and Finance committee (66 sittings) and the Human Rights and Civil Integration committee (64 sittings).
  • The committees that discussed most draft laws were the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee (17 draft laws), Legal Issues Committee (7 draft laws), Education, Science and Culture Committee (6 draft laws) and the Regional Policy, Self-Government and Mountainous Regions Committee (6 draft laws).

MPs’ links with businesses

  • According to the information, starting from October 2012, 43 MPs (or their family members) had or still have business assets. 28 (67%) have them are representatives of Parliamentary Majority, 9 – of Parliamentary Minority, while 6 did not belong to any of them.
  • 3 Members of the Parliament (Zviad Kvachantiradze, Gogi Topadze, Tamaz Avdaliani) did not only have shares in business, but were directors of companies while working at the Parliament. According to the Constitution of Georgia and the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament, a Member of Parliament cannot occupy a position of a head or a member of supervisory, control, or revision bodies of a commercial entity.

Undeclared commercial activities of the Members of Parliament

  • Our new research showed that the declarations of property of some Members of the Parliament (Levan Kardava, Revaz Shavlokhasvhili, Tamaz Kacheishvili, Tamaz Shioshvili, Giga Bukia, Gogi Liparteliani, Tamaz Akhvlediani, Viktor Japaridze)  did not fully present their present and past business activities.

TI Georgia will present an assessment of the Parliament upon the completion of the spring session.

Contact:
Nana Lobzhanidze,Communications Officer
nana@transparency.ge, 595 210 309

The report was prepared with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The views expressed in the report to not necessarily coincide with those of Sida and Transparency International Georgia is solely responsible for the report's content.