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The News in Brief

Friday, January 30
Bidzina Ivanishvili is outraged by our work - Nino Lomjaria

“The most influential person in the top taking an interest in researching three civic activists is ridiculous,” said Nino Lomjaria, the Executive Director of Fair Elections NGO, in response to Bidzina Ivanishvili’s statement.

According to her, the former PM’s statement is a threat.

"I cannot make a serious comment on the statement, but the fact is that the most influential figure in the country is interested in researching the activity of three civil activists, which I think represents an attempt to exert pressure on us.

He is dissatisfied with our work and his statement includes a threat as well. This is ridiculous. I think they should be busy with more important cases, but that's their decision.

In general, criticism will irritate any authority. In this case, I really do not think that “Society 2030” is an organization representing the civil sector. In fact, it is an organization that represents the government and that’s why Mr. Ivanishvili was outraged by our criticism," said Lomjaria. (IPN)

President Seeks Applicants for Supreme Court Chair Candidate

President Giorgi Margvelashvili has called on “professional circles” and “stakeholders” to name before February 9 their favorable candidates for Supreme Court chairmanship from which he would then pick one and submit for confirmation to the Parliament.

Speaking at a news conference on January 28, the President said that his consultations with political groups in Parliament and civil society representatives have demonstrated that there is a “consensus” on criteria based on which a nomination for Supreme Court chairperson should be made.

“The entire society, including political groups, agrees on same criteria,” President Margvelashvili said.

“Being principled, having managerial skills, being free from political influences, and professionalism – these are the criteria on which the political spectrum and the society agree,” he said.

“Now we are moving on the next stage and ask the society, professional circles, those who are competent in this area to submit candidacies,” he said.

Margvelashvili said that selection from nominated candidates will be made by “a commission made up mostly of my advisers.”

He stressed that under the law he has no obligation to go through this process and neither was he obliged to hold series of consultations with civil society representatives and political groups.

“But such open, transparent and unprecedented process is significant now, when level of confidence towards the judiciary needs to be increased… The judiciary should become one of the most trusted institutions and public engagement in this process will determine reforms and trust towards the reforms, which have to be carried out in the judiciary,” the President said.

Over the past two weeks President Margvelashvili held consultations with civil society organizations, lawmakers from ruling coalition and opposition parties, and also met with incumbent chairman of the Supreme Court and members of the High Council of Justice. No specific candidates were discussed during the consultations and those meetings, according to president’s administration, aimed at exchanging views on criteria based on which a candidate should be selected.

“As a result of this process we will receive a strong candidate,” Margvelashvili said.

A candidate, nominated by the President, will need support of at least 76 members of 150-seat Parliament to be endorsed as new chairperson of the Supreme Court. (

Ukraine’s Justice Minister refuses to meet his Georgian counterpart

Ukraine’s Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko has refused to meet his Georgian counterpart, Georgian MP Zviad Kvachantiradze has told Radio Liberty.

“Georgia’s justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani has received a message that her colleague is not ready to meet her”, Kvachantiradze said.

“Some politicians in Kiev are under the direct influence”, he added.

“When Mr. Pavlo Petrenko arrived in Georgia at the invitation of Tea Tsulukiani, the letter promised to support him. She also said that the Ministry of Justice of Georgia would assist the Ukrainian side in any issue. She should have also visited Ukraine; she tried to reach an agreement with his counterpart about this issue three times. Tsulukiani has received a message that her colleague is not ready to meet her. This means that some politicians in Kiev are under the direct influence. They are hampered to hold the official meetings with their Georgian counterparts. It is easy to guess who hampers them – they are hampered by those people who are proponents of alternative ways to help and who get a lot of money for this action”, Kvachantiradze said.

"There is an information vacuum and our Ukrainian colleagues, don’t known what Georgia is doing to support them”, he added. (Frontnews)

Irakli Kobakhidze speaks out about the family ties of the PM

Executive Secretary of the “Georgian Dream” coalition Irakli Kobakhidze confirmed that Georgia has had a problem with family ties of Irakli Gharibashvili. Responding to why former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili criticized the relatives of the Gharibashvili, Kobakhidze stated that the criticism has been caused by a "problem” but that "it was solved".

Kobakhidze is the first member of the Georgian Dream coalition to admit that there was a problem with Gharibashvili appointing relatives to top government positions. (Rustavi2)