Irakli Kobakhidze, the head of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Wednesday said the ruling team would take into account requests of European partners and not approve the domestic bill on deoligarchisation - designed to address one of the conditions for Georgia to be granted the EU membership candidate status - until December.
In his remarks over the matter, Kobakhidze noted European partners, including the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, had “personally” asked the Georgian Prime Minister not to adopt the bill.
We were planning to adopt the law on deoligarchisation in its final, third reading next week, although you know that the Prime Minister had a visit to Brussels, meetings were held at the highest level, including with Charles Michel, the European Commissioner, and a request was made [there] that this law should not be adopted in the third reading at this stage. Accordingly, we certainly take into account this request”, Kobakhidze said.
“In any case, we will wait for the position expressed by the European Commission and the European Council in December. Regarding this topic, we are interested in whether the issue of deoligarchisation, which in itself implies a personalised approach, will be removed. Until then, we are not going to return to the consideration of this bill”, he concluded.
The Council of Europe Venice Commission’s opinion last week recommended the Georgian authorities to drop the legislative piece - which it said was using a “personalised”, instead of “systemic”, approach to curbing oligarchic influence on the domestic politics - and instead implement a wide range of systemic reforms to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of wealthy individuals.