The founder and leader of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, released a written statement on the ongoing dispute in the majority group over the appointment of Supreme Court judges.
Below is the official translation of the text as provided by the party.
“The election of judges of the Supreme Court and existing difficulties within the ruling team have been in the focus of public attention over the past several weeks. As the leader of the ruling party, I feel obliged to share with the public my attitude towards these problems.
The Georgian Supreme Court now has only 10 out of 28 judges, which hinders normal functioning of the court. Given this situation, there were objective grounds for the desire of the High Council of Justice to promptly nominate the candidacies of judges.
In spite of this, I believe that the ruling team made a reasonable decision, taking more time for the discussion of the election of judges. It is noteworthy that this decision was made in accordance with the position of a majority of the representatives of the ruling team. We respect differing opinions within the team and we believe that it is possible to make reasonable decisions only on the basis of free discussions. We welcome the fact that the decision by the ruling team was preceded by the statement of the High Council of Justice that said that given the importance of the issue, they would approach with understanding the postponement of the discussion of the election of judges for the spring session.
The public is well aware, that the Speaker of the Parliament announced on 26 December the decision to postpone the discussion of the issue.
Against this background, Eka Beselia’s 27 December statement that linked her resignation from the post of chair of the Legal Issues Committee to the election of judges was unclear.
I would like to confirm for the public that the decision on Eka Beselia’s resignation from the aforementioned post and her transfer to the position of deputy speaker of the parliament was made back in summer.
The aforementioned decision was due to the difficulties that emerged in the ruling team in 2017. I mentioned it as one of the main reasons for my return to politics – the lack of team work.
In this context, it is regrettable that Eka Beselia linked the decision made for quite different reasons back last summer to the problem of electing judges. The decisions she made after resigning from the post are even more unclear. By failing to submit her application to the Parliament Bureau for several days and by electing Gedevan Popkhadze as first deputy chairman of the committee in gross violation of parliament’s regulations, she acted against the team and the basic principles of team work.
Taking into account such attitude towards the team, it is quite natural that the election of Eka Beselia as deputy speaker of the parliament has been removed from the agenda.
I would like to remind you that the discussion of the election of judges to the Supreme Court has not even resumed yet and no positions on the procedures and criteria for electing judges have even taken shape so far. One month that remains before the spring parliament session will be devoted to the discussion of these issues and, if necessary, the timeframes may be expanded. Decisions are made on the basis of broad discussions with the involvement of various interested parties.
Given this, I would like to urge the people, who present themselves as the only ones interested in this issue of Justice, to wait for the discussion of the issue and refrain from making statements detrimental for both the team and the interests of conducting the process of the election of judges in a healthy environment.
I am sure that the final decision will further reinforce the independence and objectivity of the judiciary, which was one of the most important achievements of the 2012 breakthrough and which I take particular care of.”