Georgia’s new lawmakers elect new Parliament Speaker

Irakli Kobakhidze, 38, will chair Georgia’s Parliament in the next four years. Photo by Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia press office., 18 Nov 2016 - 17:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

The country's new lawmakers have elected a new Speaker of Parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party. 

Irakli Kobakhidze, 38, was elected as the country's new Parliament Speaker. He is a qualified and working lawyer and previously served as the GDDG Executive Secretary. 

A vote was held at today's inaugural meeting of the new Parliament of Georgia in western Kutaisi, where Kobakhidze received 118 votes in favour of his appointment as Speaker of Parliament, while three lawmakers voted against.

Kobakhidze needed at least 76 votes out of the 150-member legislative body to gain the new position. 

A total of 138 lawmakers went through the registration process to vote for the new Parliament Speaker.

Kobakhidze was the only nominee for the position.

Before the vote was made, Kobakhidze made a speech in Parliament and answered lawmakers questions. 

In his address he stressed it was "a big honour and the biggest responsibility” to lead Georgia’s legislative body for the next four years, should he be so fortunate to be elected as Speaker of Parliament.

Kobakhidze praised the conduct of last month's Parliamentary Elections and he stressed that by voting for the ruling party, which gained  [115 seats in the 150-member legislative body], the people of Georgia supported the country’s democratic development and Euro-Atlantic integration. 

We are obliged to make the wish of our people come true,” Kobakhidze said. 
We should deepen ties with European and Euro-Atlantic structures, with the United States and with our other partners with whom we share common values,” he said.

The new Speaker of Parliament also highlighted Parliament’s role in supporting the state economy and ensuring closer connections with its regional partners.

Kobakhidze also noted the importance of a "pragmatic foreign policy” and "strong protection of foreign policy red lines”. 

He stressed the country’s de-occupation and restoration of territorial integrity remained "the key issue facing the new Parliament of Georgia”. 

The issue of reintegration will never be questioned or become a topic of a compromise,” Kobakhidze stressed.