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NGOs recommends formation of consulting group over new head of Supreme Court

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, January 16
NGOs have offered to form a consulting group for President Giorgi Margvelashvili with regard to the new chairperson of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

The president, who adhered to the appeals of NGOs and MPs concerning the launching of consultations over the candidate, held his first meeting with NGOs on January 15. More than 20 NGOs participated in the meeting held at the President’s Palace.

The NGOs asked the president to establish a special group that would discuss the appropriate candidates for the position and then make a recommendation.

“We have not discussed any definite candidate. We spoke about the criteria the candidate should meet. If the president follows our advice and the group is really created, the first step will be laying out the criteria. Based on the current constitution, the criteria that the chair of the Supreme Court must meet, are obscure,” explained the Head of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Ana Natsvlishvili.

She stressed that the president’s candidate should be very qualified, principled, resistant to outside influence and distanced from politics.

The NGOs appealed to the president not to make serious, fundamental concessions regarding choosing the candidate while meeting with various political party representatives.

“The political parties will attempt to get their desired figure on the post; someone who might stand far from the criteria the Supreme Court chairperson must meet,” head of the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) Nino Lomjaria said.

Following the meeting, the President’s Advisor on Legal Issues Kakha Kozhoridze said that the president would make a decision over the council in the near future.

The following meeting over the issue will presumably be held with political parties.

The 10-year term of the current Chair of the Supreme Court Kote Kublashvili expires in February of 2015.