Disrupted Discussion about the TBC Bank in the Parliament Intensifies Doubts Regarding the Political Bias of the Issue
Discussion of the report of the President of the National Bank of Georgia on the TBC Bank case and the new banking regulations failed in the Parliamentary Committee for Sector Economy and Economic Policy on 26 February. The meeting was attended by the shareholders of the TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze, who were not given the opportunity to offer additional explanations regarding this case of major public interest. As a result, the society at large lost the opportunity to receive information about the developments around the TBC Bank from the main actors, which has raised even more questions about the political motivations of the case.
Initially, the session was planned to be open. At the beginning of the session the of the President of the National Bank of Georgia Koba Gvenetadze made a statement that he was not able to speak about certain actions of the National Bank as this might have impaired the interests of the TBC Bank and the banking system in general. This statement was followed by the request of certain representatives of the Majority, and in particular, of the leading deputies of the ruling party Archil Talakvadze, Mamuka Mdinaradze and Davit Matikashvili, to close the session because of the risks, voiced by the NBG President. However, this request was not upheld by the representatives of the opposition and also by some deputies of the ruling party, including the Committee Chairman Roman Kakulia. Against the background of fierce discussions the Chairman announced a break and after reopening of the session the position of all the deputies of the ruling force has changed: the Committee Chairman put the request on closure of the session on open voting, however, before voting, during fierce debates about some procedural aspects, he unexpectedly ended the session and left the hall.
According to the new Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Georgia, a chairperson of a body reportable to the Parliament is required to attend a committee session on request of a faction and answer the posed questions. The NBG President was invited to the Committee session by minority factions, however the members of the Majority opposed the raising of the question at the session, which is in direct contradiction to the Rules of Procedure.
Today, as a result of the botched session, the Parliament:
- Refused to exercise its oversight function;
- Deprived the society at large of the opportunity to receive more information about TBC Bank related situation;
- Failed to clear doubts about biased and politically-charged attitude of the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia and the National Bank towards TBC Bank
Unfortunately, the developments in the Parliament cast even more doubts about the politically-charged nature of the issue. Worth mentioning are the statements made by Khazaradze and Japaridze today and during the previous days, when they spoke about the orchestrated attack against them and stated that the National Bank was not free in its decisions when it asked them to resign from their offices. Up to this moment the efforts of the state to bring clarity into this problem are unconvincing and the questions are still remain unanswered.
We hereby call upon the Parliament to exercise its oversight function on the one part and on the other - to give opportunity to the society at large to hear the positions of the parties involved in this case of major public interest.