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President to launch consultations on Supreme Court Chair

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, January 15
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili is ready to launch consultations with any interested side with regard to the new chair of the Supreme Court of Georgia. The first meeting concerning the topic will be held with NGOs on January 15.

The president has to choose the new Chairperson of the Supreme Court, as the 10-year term in office of incumbent Chairman Konstantine Kublashvili expires on February 23, 2015.

"The president’s office is open for consultations,” Margvelashvili said.

He has called on all stakeholders, both among civil society and in parliament, to join these consultations.

“The transparent process of consultations will help us to select the best candidate for this important post,” Margvelashvili stated.

"Of course, the burden of the final decision rests on the president,” he added.

Georgia’s Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani welcomed the president’s readiness for consultations.

She stressed that the Constitution did not oblige the president to hold such consultations, and Margvelashvili only had a "moral obligation” to do so.

She suggested that Georgia must not have another Chairperson of the Supreme Court like Kublashvili.

“He has always been a puppet of the United National Movement (UNM),” Tsulukiani stated.

These accusations were dismissed by Kublashvili and the UNM. Kublashvili stated that various statements made by Tsulukiani aimed at influencing judges.

MPs and NGOs asked the president to select the new head of the Supreme Court through consultations several days ago.

The second issue the president touched upon was his speech in Parliament.

Margvelashvili hoped that unlike the previous year, the government would attend his annual speech in the legislative body.

“The absence of the government in the course of my speech last year has brought nothing beneficial for the country. I hope that despite the parliament’s location in Kutaisi, the government members will find time to attend my report,” Margvelshvili said.

The president admitted that the format of his speech before parliament has not been decided yet.

“I am ready to consult with MPs concerning the issue and discuss any state-related issue in a desirable format,” Margvelashvili said.

According to Minister of Heath Davit Sergeenko, the government will make the decision whether to be present at the event or not.

“The president’s coming to parliament is always a very significant occasion,” Sergeenko said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili stated that the presidents’ speech in parliament has “just symbolic” meaning and there was no necessity and obligation to attend it.