The Georgian Parliament has a new Chairman. Kakha Kuchava from the ruling Georgian Dream party was elected Chairman (Speaker) of the legislature following the surprise resignation on Saturday of Archil Talakvadze. In a secret ballot, 86 MPs supported the new Chairman and six were against. The 41 year old Kuchava is a lawyer by profession. Talakvadze is expected to be elected Deputy Speaker later today.
The election of the new Speaker of the Georgian parliament coincides with a thaw in the political crisis as a number of opposition MPs return to parliament following intensive mediation conducted by the European Union. However, most of the MPs representing the main opposition United National Movement party have still not taken their parliamentary seats.
One of the first tasks of the new Speaker is to stir through the parliament an amnesty that would see the release of the two opposition leaders currently in jail, Nika Melia and Giorgi Rudua.