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Ruling Party Plans to Appoint Ombudsman Next Week

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, November 10
Georgia’s Parliament Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze, says that the Georgian Dream ruling party is holding negotiations, and they will allegedly name the candidate for the Public Defender’s post next week.

Several weeks ago, Kobakhidze said that the current head of the Personal Data Protection agency, Tamar Kaldani “would be a very good public defender.”

“We will select the most appropriate candidate for the position, who can best protect public interest. Criteria for the selection will be very transparent,” Kobakhidze said.

Kobakhidze also stated that “integrity, qualifications and being unbiased” would be at the top of demands.

Current Ombudsman, Ucha Nanuashvili, was approved by Parliament on December 8, 2012.

In his statement, Nanuashvili stated that the new ombudsman must be impartial and must not be influenced by any party.

“The Ombudsman must be the first critic of the Government. I hope that Georgia will always have a public defender who will have such an attitude, and will be distinguished by his/her professionalism,” Nanuashvili said.

The opposition says that the candidate who is named and later confirmed by the ruling team “will not be trustful.”

“For the people to feel that they have a public defender who will protect their interests, the best solution is to name such a candidate from the civil sector,” Salome Samadashvili from the United National Movement (UNM) opposition said.

The Public Defender of Georgia is elected for a five year term by the MPs of the Parliament of Georgia. Parliamentary factions and groups have the right to suggest their own candidates.