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Opposition contradicts approval of a police officer for the 1st state inspector

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 12
The United National Movement and the European Georgia opposition parties, as well as independent MPs, strongly opposed the approval of the Interior Ministry official Londa Toloraia as the country’s first state inspector, a head of a new department which will study possible violations committed by law enforcers.

The opposition believes that Toloraia, who has headed the Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, will be unable to investigate the case “involving her former colleagues freely.”

An Independent MP, once a member of the Georgian Dream ruling party Gedevan Popkhadze says that Toloraia will be “a pocket inspector” of the ruling party.

Creation of the state inspector’s office, which will act under the auspicious of the Personal Data Protection Inspector’s Office, has been long demanded by NGOs.

The NGOs would state that the crimes committed by law enforcers remained uninvestigated and possible offenders unpunished, as the law enforcement bodies “protected” their former or acting employees.

The NGOs say that Toloraia’s candidacy was presented to parliament through violation of procedures.

They said that the competition conditions announced for the post fitted only to Toloraia and a special commission tasked to select candidates for the post allowed another, “a formal” candidate in the final stage of the competition to avoid a repeated competition.

During the vote in parliament, Toloraia received 82 votes with 21 against, while her opponent Valeri Lomuashvili only seven votes and 12 went against.

Toloraia says that working in the Interior Ministry will not create obstacles for her future activities.

She will take up a new post on July 3, 2019, for six years.

In March 2019, during her speech in parliament, Georgian Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani said that “a state Inspector’s office will be created which will investigate possible offences committed by law enforcers.”

“The reform and the office will respond to many challenges and question marks,” Tsulukiani said.

The competition for the state inspector was announced in May 2019 and 48 people applied for it.

A competition commission selected only seven candidates for a second stage, for an interview.

NGOs says that only Toloraia had all necessary documents in place, while the commission also decided to send the candidacy of Lomuashvili to PM to present it in parliament for voting when the latter failed to overcome the first stage of the competition.

That is why the NGOs believe that Lomuashvili was a formal candidate “to push Toloraia” win the race.