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Public Defender candidate is chosen

By Keti Arjevanidze
Tuesday, November 13
The Georgian parliamentary majority has chosen Nina Khatiskatsi as their candidate for Public Defender. Khatiskatsi held a press conference on November 11. During the meeting, the candidate defined the steps that she is going to take in her department. It is second time that Khatiskatsi has been appointed for the post, which according to her is because of Tamar Gurchiani’s withdrawal from the race.

“People do not have information about their rights. One of the priorities of the public defender will be to inform the population. The whole country should become a public defender. In every village there should be a volunteer Public Defender,” Khatiskatsi stated.

According to the candidate in the context of human rights, defending the involvement of the population is very important. The ombudsman added that the 70 member group of public defender cannot solve the problems completely. According to the candidate, the public defender should know all the nuances in every region of the country.

“I will be the type of public defender that will defend all the rights guaranteed by the Georgian Constitution; solving these problems will be my life's order," said Khatiskatsi.

At the conference, the ombudsman to be touched on the issue of the PD's budget, saying that it is decreasing, which according to her, on the contrary should increase– especially when human rights protection is a priority in Georgia.

Before her candidacy's official introduction, Khatiskatsi had withdrawn her candidacy due to Tamar Gurchiani, one of the other possible candidates. “I had withdrawn my candidacy, because of Tamar Gurchiani. I cannot say that it was an offer from the government; there was just an interest in my candidacy, I underlined to them that if there it were not for Gurchiani’s candidacy, only in this case would I participate,” stated Khatiskatsi.

The candidate also discussed the issue of minorities in Georgia. According to her, the issue of minorities is contradictive; the attitude from the society towards them is contradictive. She also added that she met religious and sexual minorities, which is one issue that she considers to be as one of the challenges for society. “The violation of human right will be the point on which my activity will be based.”

Khatiskatsi also talked about her husband’s political activism, as among society, her candidacy’s appointment was facilitated by her husband’s political orientation. She stated that it would not affect on her impartiality. “My husband is not a member of the Georgian Dream, he was one of the activists for the political party and it cannot be the basis of the public defender’s bias.”

The program of the department is not officially determined yet. Until now for the post of Public Defender, the candidacies of Dimitri Lortkifanidze, Lia Mukhashavria, Tamar Gurchiani, Gela Nikolaishvili, Natia Imnadze and Ucha Nanuashvili were pondered over.