Georgian Dream decision to prevent creation of a fact-finding commission paralyzes Parliament’s work

The parliamentary majority has been trying to block the vote on the creation of a fact-finding commission in the Parliament of Georgia through procedural sabotage for the second day now. Despite the fact that the parliamentary opposition managed to mobilize 50 votes needed to create a commission, all members of the parliamentary majority refuse to register for the vote, thus hampering the gathering of 76 votes required for the quorum. Therefore, they make it impossible to put the issue to the vote.

The fact-finding commission is the most important parliamentary oversight mechanism, which allows the Parliament to receive detailed information from the relevant agencies about alleged crimes. Granting the authority to create a fact-finding commission to no less than 50 MPs implies the unhindered use of this leverage of democratic oversight by the parliamentary opposition. Disrupting the vote and hindering the opposition to create a fact-finding commission contradicts the goal established by the Constitution of Georgia - to give the opposition the opportunity to use the most important oversight tool.

The Georgian Dream members explained their decision by solidarity with judges. However, the position of the parliamentary majority is unconvincing and creates an impression that the Government is trying to avoid talking publicly about problems in the judiciary. The creation of a fact-finding commission would put problems in the court at the center of the political agenda, which seems to be undesirable for the ruling party. Georgian Dream’s categorical objection may serve to hinder the disclosure of information about alleged corrupt deals and cases of pressure in the judicial system.

Sanctions imposed by the US Department of State on judges and their family members prove that informal political influences in the judicial system will not remain undetected. Preventing the vote on on the creation of fact-finding commission will only temporarily save those involved in criminal activities in the judicial authorities from being held legally responsible.