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How to select the new Supreme Court Chairman?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, January 14
The 10-year term of the current head of the Supreme Court of Georgia Kote Kublashvili expires in February of this year. His replacement should be chosen by the president and sent to parliament for approval. At least 76 votes are necessary for accepting the candidate.

The Supreme Court plays a key role in the country and so the next candidate is being discussed in-depth. The parliamentary majority has appealed to the president to consult with MPs concerning the candidate.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili revealed his position in terms of the topic last year. He stressed that he would have selected the candidate based on his qualification without any political criteria.

“I can give you a guarantee that the candidate will remove any speculation over the current and previous governments’ influences in the court system. My step in this regard will be to ensure that an independent court is focused on protecting human rights. There must not be speculation on political grounds in the court’s activities,” Margvelashvili said.

The following day Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani appealed to the president to launch consultations with parliament over the issue.

“I am sure that neither the president, nor the government and parliament will use this issue as an apple of discord,” Tsulukiani said.

At the beginning of January, head of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee Eka Beselia said that consultations regarding the issue have not started yet, while MPs have revealed their readiness for the cooperation.

“They state that it will be difficult for them to agree on the candidate without consultations,” Beselia said.

The Georgian Dream coalition has viewed Kublashvili as a supporter of the United National Movement government. Addressing the president concerning consultations with MPs with regard to the future head of the Supreme Court gives the impression that the coalition wants to see its desirable candidate in the post.

Kublashvili himself states that his replacement should be distanced from politics. He also stressed that it is the president’s right to choose the candidate, as well as to hold any consultations on the topic.

The coalition on Independent and Transparent Judiciary, uniting more than 30 NGOs, business associations and media outlets, released a statement on January 12 through which it asked the president and all interested sides to settle the issue in a timely manner.

“The process should be transparent and inclusive,” the coalition said.

Now, it is up to the president to name his candidate.