TBILISI, DFWatch – The eighth Georgian parliament Sunday elected Republican Party leader Davit Usupashvili as speaker of parliament by 88 votes for, none against and 62 abstaining. Usupashvili represents the Georgian Dream coalition.

Georgian Dream has 85 seats in parliament, therefore three representatives from President Saakashvili’s National Movement must have voted for the new speaker, but since voting was anonymous, it is unknown who those three were.

Before being elected as speaker, Usupashvili addressed the delegates, drawing on history, and reflecting on the future plans of the Georgian parliament.

Following procedures defined by law, the parliament also elected deputies to the speaker. They are Manana Kobakhidze, who represents the Georgian Dream coalition (99 votes for, 0 against); Zviad Dzidziguri, also from Georgian Dream (99 votes for, and 0 against) and Zurab Abashidze, from the same coalition (90 votes for, 0 against).

Zurab Tkemaladze, who represents Georgian Dream and is member of Industry will Save Georgia Party refused to hold this position.

“I don’t think at 150-member parliament so many vice-speakers are needed. This way nearly 150 000 laris will be saved annually,” he said.

Murman Dumbadze, who was a majoritarian for Georgian Dream, was elected by 81 votes from Autonomous Republic of Adjara.

Giorgi Baramidze, from the National Movement was elected as fifth speaker from minority by 92 votes against 27.