Parliament - Passportisation

Today parliamentary deputies invited to their meeting the Deputy Chairman of the State Commission for checking compliance with operative legislation in the matter of issuing passports to residents of the Tkwarchal and Gal districts of Abkhazia, Security Council Secretary Stanislav Lakoba.

Security Council Secretary Stanislav Lakoba set out before the deputies his view of the problem over the issuing of passports to the residents of Kartvelian nationality in the Tkw’archal and Gal districts, the majority of whom also possess citizenship of Georgia.

According to participants in the meeting, within the old borders of the Gal District 25,000 residents have received passports of the Republic of Abkhazia, and many also possess Abkhazian external passport, which allow them freely to cross the Psou-border [viz. into Russia]. The deputies raised the question as to why the documents are being issued in a simplified manner locally, thereby bypassing the President’s committee on citizenship. In addition, there are similar precedents in the Ochamchira District. In the list of applicants for the receipt of Abkhazian passports there are persons who are not permanently resident in the territory of the Republic.

As deputies pointed out at the meeting, they are not coming out in opposition to all the residents living within the old borders of the Gal District.

Our legislation allows for the issuing to persons of Kartvelian nationality of a residence permit. Resident in the said territory are also Abkhazians who are in need of help to integrate into our society.

The deputies called for an objective approach to the formation of the commission without the participation of the heads of the local administrations who take decisions on granting Abkhazian passports to persons of Kartvelian nationality. The list of members delegated to the State Commission was also subjected to debate.

‘Improving the legal framework in this area is of particular relevance today,’ said the Speaker of Parliament, Valeri Bganba.

After a three-hour discussion, the deputies decided to invite the President of the Republic and to ask him to give a political assessment of the prospects for the Gal District.

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