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Georgian Dream key figure takes oath as judge

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, February 17
A key figure of the current Georgian Dream leadership, Manana Kobakhidze, took an oath as a judge of the Constitutional Court of Georgia with the background of the opposition’s and civil sector’s strong criticism of her candidacy.

Kobakhidze, who was nominated as the Constitutional Court Judge by the Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia majority, claims her activities at the position would be unbiased and impartial.

The majority believes Kobakhidze will play an important, positive role in the court’s future decisions.

“I am sure Manana Kobakhidze will make a special contribution to the independence of the judiciary, its further strengthening and efficient functioning,” Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze said.

The opposition and the civil sector believe Kobakhidze, who was one of the most active members of the current ruling power, would very likely be supportive of her team.

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court annulled the note in the law which demanded acting and former judges undergo a three year probationary period before their lifetime appointment.

The Court said that when a judge served in the system for more than three years, there was no need for an additional probationary period, as his/her previous activities would be enough for considering a lifetime appointment.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili welcomed the court’s decision.

The Constitutional Court of Georgia consists of nine judges.

All three branches of state powers participate in the formation of the Constitutional Court on an equal basis; three members are appointed by the President of Georgia, three members by Parliament, and three by the Supreme Court. The term of office of a member of the Constitutional Court is ten years.

Kobakhidze needs at least 76 votes out of the 150-member legislative body to take the post; the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority currently holds 116 seats in Parliament.