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Georgian Dream Leader: “No Necessity to Build Lazika”

Published: October 2, 2012 | 10:24 pm
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Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition (GD), says building Lazika is more of a joke story. “I don’t see the necessity to build Lazika. Where is the money to construct it? It’s a joke made up by Saakashvili,” declared Ivanishili during his meeting with media representatives on October 2.

Lazika has been a future planned city in Georgia, on the country’s Black Sea littoral. It was said to be located south to Anaklia—a sea resort immediately south to breakaway Abkhazia—and north to Kulevi, a port north to Poti, Georgia’s key Black Sea port city.

An intent to construct a new large settlement, with the potential to make the city into the country’s second largest—after the capital of Tbilisi—and a major economic center of western Georgia, was unveiled by President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on December 4, 2011. The name Lazika is a reference to the Greco-Roman designation of this region, a part of ancient Colchis. According to Saakashvili, the government of Georgia had been in talks with several large investment groups in Asia and Europe. politicians and commentators have been skeptical of the project. Critics have also pointed out to the potential harm to the flora and fauna of the Kolkheti National Park, which lies adjacent to the area. The NDI-sponsored public opinion polls in 2012 showed support for the construction of the city.

Lazika was intended to have a special legal status, with the English law model for commercial transactions instead of a codified civil law established in Georgia. To this end, the Parliament of Georgia passed, on June 29, 2012, a constitutional amendment that would allow the lawmakers to adopt a law concerning the future status of Lazika.

Georgian authorities planned to invest GEL 200 million ($120 million) in construction of the future city of Lazika .

A parliamentary election was held on 1 October 2012 in Georgia. It was the 7th legislative election held since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. According to preliminary results, the oppositional Georgian Dream coalition of billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili won a majority of seats. President Mikheil Saakashvili announced to appoint a government formed by the new parliamentary majority.

The election was held according to a reformed electoral system agreed upon by the incumbent and several opposition parties in 2011. 77 of the 150 seats are allocated proportionally to party lists, the remaining 73 to the winners in single-member constituencies. The new parliament will be relocated from the capital of Tbilisi to the country’s second largest city of Kutaisi later in 2012. A new government will also be formed following the scheduled 2013 presidential election as envisaged by the 2010 constitutional amendments. South Ossetia and Abkhazia did not vote.

GD leased also spoke about the Parliament building and said that initially the Kutaisi premises will be used as the one in Tbilisi is already destroyed inside.




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