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Ombudsman calls on Constitutional Commission to revise amendments to his election

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, April 20
Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia Ucha Nanuashvili does not approve of the amendments to the election of the Ombudsman, as discussed by the State Constitutional Commission.

Nanuashvili believes that the views of some members of the Commission, which mean that Ombudsmen should not have right to be elected for the second term, are not well-grounded.

"I don’t understand why the restrictions should be imposed only on the election of the Public Defender in the Constitution, while other elected positions remain unchanged. There has not been consensus on this issue and I expect that the discussion will continue within the Commission,” Nanuashvili said.

The Ombudsman says that the term of the Commission should be extended with regards to some issues.

"It is very important that a lot of bodies to be engaged in this process. Most importantly, this process should not be forced, and everything must be done to ensure that the process is inclusive. It is not necessary for the Commission to complete its work in a few weeks,” he said.

Eka Beselia, the Chair of the Legal Issues Committee of Parliament, says that the discussions over the Ombudsman’s election rule have not been concluded yet.

“The Public Defender, who is always critical towards the government, should not express a wish to be elected for a second term,” Beselia said.

Constitutionalist Vakhushti Menabde believes that in order to ensure the independence of the Ombudsman’s institute, one and the same person should not be allowed to be elected for the second time.

“At the end of the Ombudsman’s term, there will always be doubts that the Public Defender will become loyal to a political team who is able to choose him again,” Menabde said.

The 73-member State Constitutional Commission was initiated by the current ruling Georgian Dream party for the second time in order to amend the Constitutional changes until the end of April, 2017.

The Commission is composed of members from the parliamentary majority, minority, experts, the civil sector and people from constitutional institutions.