30 Jun 2012

Georgian parliament moving from capital to the country

6:10 am on 30 June 2012

Georgia is moving its national parliament away from the capital to a rural area, to decentralise power and boost the economy there.

MPs are due to relocate from Tbilisi, to the town of Kutaisi after parliamentary elections in October. A huge glass domed building has been constructed there.

At its heart, sunlight streams into a white semi-circular parliamentary chamber, made entirely of natural wood.

The BBC reports the glass is meant to symbolise democratic openness and transparency in a country, which until 1991, was part of the Soviet Union. It has reportedly cost $US83 million so far.

A motorway is being built to connect the new parliament with the capital. But it won't be ready for another couple of years.

The only road at present is a narrow, winding mountain route that takes three hours.

There are no estimates yet publicly available about how much the entire project will cost.