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Media Speculates Ruling Party will Name a Female Presidential Candidate

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, March 6
(TBILISI)--The Georgian media speculates that the Georgian Dream ruling party’s presidential nominee for this year’s presidential elections will be female, current Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani.

The Georgian Dream majority neither approves nor dismisses the speculations.

The ruling party leader Archil Talakvadze says that both male and female candidates will have equal chances to be nominated by the Georgian Dream.

“Consultations have already been launched. However, the candidates will be discussed within the political council meeting of the Georgian Dream, which has not be scheduled yet,” Talakvadze said.

Tsulukiani, 43, was appointed as Minister of Justice of Georgia in October 2012, shortly after the Georgian Dream defeated the nine-year rule of the United National Movement government.

Prior to her appointment, she ran as a candidate for the Free Democrats party, which was a member party of the Georgian Dream coalition, and was elected as Member of Parliament for Nadzaladevi, a single- mandate constituency of the capital, with 72 percent of the vote.

Tsulukiani has 10 years of experience as a lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR), where at the same time she served as a member of the Committee for Rules of Court and as a rapporteur on the cases examined by single-judge compositions.

She holds MPA degree from École Nationale d'Administration (ENA) in France (Averroès 1998-2000). She also holds the degree in international law and international relations and a diploma from the Academy of Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

Tsulukiani is the chairperson of eight Interagency Councils in the Government of Georgia, among them the Criminal Justice Reform Council, the Anti-corruption Council, the Anti-drug, Anti-torture and Anti-trafficking Councils as well as the State Commission on Migration Issues and the Inter-agency Commission for Free and Fair Elections.

When the Free Democrats left the Georgian Dream coalition in 2014 and several ministers from the party quit posts, Tsulukiani decided to quit the party and stay as the Justice Minister.