All thirteen members of the “Labor” group of deputies staged a walkout from the Georgian parliament on June 12. The sixteen members of the Socialist group of deputies had done so one day earlier. The thirty-strong Revival group of deputies, representing Ajaria, had walked out in April.
In separate but similar statements, the three groups have announced that they would boycott the parliament until the governing Union of Citizens of Georgia (UCG) ends what the protesters term a “dictatorship of the majority.” They also want President Eduard Shevardnadze to submit to the parliament a program to overcome “the country’s crisis.” The three groups claim that the parliament has been turned into a mere “discussion club,” where no meaningful decisions are made. The Socialists, furthermore, are protesting against the Central Electoral Commission’s decision last week to invalidate the results of a recent by-election in eastern Georgia. The Socialists had edged out the UCG in that turbulent and controversial by-election.
Reacting to the boycott, Parliament Chairman Zurab Zhvania called for a “new and comprehensive political dialogue, a demonstration of tolerance and patience.” Zhvania warned against the danger of internal strife, in the wake of the fighting in Abkhazia and against the background of external and internal attempts to undermine the government. (Prime-News, Iprinda, June 12 and 13)
COMPROMISE SOLUTION IN KARABAKH POWER STRUGGLE.