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President’s Administration: It’s better to Abolish President’s Institute rather Than Approve Changes

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, December 14
The administration of current President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili continues to say that the changes in the Law on Public Service initiated by the Georgian Dream ruling party lawmakers are “discriminatory and cowardly” as if adopted the employees of the President’s Administration will not be in the lists of public servants.

“This is another blow to the presidential institution. I want to advise them to totally abolish the institution instead of making these poor attempts.

At the same time, I want to say that these amendments are absolutely absurd. This is a decision made by coward persons. It is an obviously discriminatory and unconstitutional decision.

“The amendments, targeting the employees of the Presidential Administration, should at least be applied equally to the employees of the Parliament of Georgia and the Administration of the Government of Georgia as well, in order to believe that they are even partly correct”, Giorgi Abashishvili, head of Margvelashvili’s administration says.

President Margvelashvili believes that a punishing and inquisitorial act has been issued for those people who have been serving the country for years.

“There are up to 100 persons at the Presidential Administration, who work according to the civil service standards and have nothing to do with political preferences. There are such people at the Presidential Administration, who started their job during Gamsakhurdia’s [first President of Georgia] presidency and we are proud of these people. Presidents were replaced and these people were not. They have been serving for years and they deserve our gratitude. Margvelashvili said.

Anna Natsvlishvili, the President’s Parliamentary Secretary says that if adopted the changes will remove all protection mechanisms for the employees of the president’s administration.

She called upon the parliament not to approve the initiative.

The president’s administration says that the initiation of the changes several days before the expiration of Margvelashvili's term could be related to the wish to simply dismiss the staff of the current president after the 16 December inauguration.

One of the authors of the changes Guram Macharashvili has refrained from making a comment about the reasons and possible consequences of the bill.

“Consultations are ongoing regarding the bill. I will be able to answer the questions after the consultations are over,” he told the media.

The Institute of Development of the Freedom of Information (IDFI) NGO has stood against the changes by saying that they violate the rights of the employee of the president’s administration and further weakens the residential institute.

President-elect Salome Zurabishvili has made a general statement regarding the issue and said that “it is the business of parliament rather than hers.”