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Criteria for new chairman of Supreme Court stirs controversy

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, February 16
The criteria elaborated with regard to the new chairman of the Supreme Court of Georgia between the president, political parties and NGOs, has stirred controversy within the Georgian Dream coalition.

One of the preconditions through which the candidate should be distanced from politics has been debated among Georgian Dream members.

Some of them opposed the Georgian Dream party leader Davit Saganelidze.

Gia Volski and several other members of the coalition claim that Saganelidze should have agreed to his offer with the team initially. They stress that the precondition might hinder those who have political backgrounds. One such candidate might be the majority MP Zakaria Kutsnashvili.

The president, who has already met with the 28 candidates nominated by various organizations and political parties for the post, has responded to the speculations concerning the criteria.

He stressed that the criteria that envisages the candidate to be principled with managerial abilities, professional and free from political influences, removed various questions about who could apply for the post.

“The criteria were elaborated through consultations that were part of a democratic process. The process of discussions was very interesting and fruitful,” the president said.

The president listened to the programs of each candidate, among them were those from political parties: Kutsnashvili and Shalava Shavgulidze from Free Democrats.

Unlike Shavgulidze Kutsnashvili, who has been named as a candidate by 11 different organizations, believes he might become the new head of the Supreme Court.

Despite the fact he did not agree about his claims for the post with his team, Kutsnashvili hopes for majority support if the president names him, while the opposition member Shavgulidze is less optimistic for such a push.

The president is said to be naming his pick on February 23.