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CSOs: Khazaradze’s Statement Deepens Doubts over State Capture

A group of 17 local civil society organizations, including Transparency International Georgia, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy , Open Society Georgia Foundation, Georgian Democracy Initiative and Article 42 of the Constitution, released a joint statement on March 5, expressing concern over “the signs of informal rule” and “increasing tendency of state capture.”

The statement follows the remarks made by Mamuka Khazaradze, one of the founders of TBC Bank and former Chairman of its Supervisory Board, that he was blackmailed and threatened. The group of CSOs noted that the power concentrated in the hands of “informal group” is used for private purposes.

According to the statement, “this tendency is incompatible with the principles of democratic governance and poses a threat to constitutional order.”

The group expressed hope that law enforcement agencies will conduct “adequate and impartial” investigation into Khazaradze’s remarks and called on the Parliament for appropriate reaction.

“We call on the Parliament to set up an interim investigative commission that will study the issue comprehensively at its public sessions,” the CSOs said.

Other signatories are:

Center for Investigative Journalism and Economic Analysis

Georgian Farmers’ Association,

Georgian Institute of Politics

Georgia Reforms Association (GRASS)

Regional Center for Strategic Studies

Green Alternative

Society and Banks

World Experience for Georgia

Atlantic Council of Georgia

Economic Policy Research Center

Liberal Academy Tbilisi

Media Development Foundation

Mamuka Khazaradze reported to the parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee on March 4, where he spoke of the “blackmail” by the National Bank of Georgia. He also said that ahead of the second round of Presidential elections in 2018, he received a letter from Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia containing threats. However, both NBG and Gakharia denied the charges.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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