The Parliamentary Committee on Legal Issues has endorsed 14 out of 20 candidates for the Supreme Court. The candidates will likely be voted into the bench at the Plenary Session later today.
At today’s stormy session the opposition and independent lawmakers – some of whom, like MP Eka Beselia quit the ruling party in protest over the decision to nominate these candidates – demanded vocally from the ruling party MPs to vote down the list.
The same sentiment was voiced by the protesters outside the parliament building, 16 of whom were detained by the police for “hooliganism” and “disobedience”. According to media reports, opposition politicians Giorgi Vashadze of “New Georgia” as well as Irakli Kupradze and Giorgi Bunturi of “Lelo” were among the detained.
CoE Venice Commission on Selection and Appointment of Judges called upon Georgia to refrain from wholesale appointment of a large batch to the Supreme Court Bench, which has 20 sitting judges.
The review process at the Committee has generated significant controversy from the outset. Watchdogs, opposition and MPs who defected from the ruling party question the integrity of the submitted candidates and say they are likely to do the political bidding.