Ruling Party, Opposition Comment on Election of Supreme Court Judges
The Parliament’s confirmation of 14 judges for the lifetime tenure at the Supreme Court has triggered mixed reactions from the opposition and the ruling party.
Civil.ge offers a compilation of these assessments.
Ruling party assessments
Mamuka Mdinaradze, leader of the parliamentary majority: “We made the choice in favor of the number of candidates needed for the court’s optimal functioning… So, after we elected 12 new and two incumbent judges, two panels of judges will be composed in each chamber; it is a minimum number for the Supreme Court to work smoothly.”
Irakli Kobakhidze, Georgian Dream lawmaker/Former Speaker: “I think that we have made as balanced a decision regarding each candidate as possible… We have made the decision, which will help the Supreme Court’s impartial and smooth functioning.”
Tina Bokuchava, United National Movement: “They elected for lifetime tenure shameful judges… It is clear what criteria they used to select these judges; these are not the criteria of honesty and competence, but that of slavish obedience, so that when [the ruling party leader Bidzina] Ivanishvili needs the Supreme Court … he will have the Supreme Court composed of slaves. It will further deepen the political crisis.”
Giga Bokeria, European Georgia: “By supporting these candidates [the ruling party MPs] have written yet another shameful page of their biography, causing harm to Georgia’s democracy… Protests will continue; either Ivanishvili will change his mind and retract his [decisions that are] insults made to the public, or he himself will undermine his own regime by his shameful actions.”
Independent lawmakers assessments
Eka Beselia: “The clan has won both at the Legal Issues Committee and over the Georgian Dream majority. It is Georgian Dream’s political failure, but also a greater moral failure.”
Levan Koberidze: “The Georgian Dream effectively took into their service the judges that served the torturing regime [of Saakashvili], those who were justifying and legitimizing injustices committed by the United National Movement. So the price that Georgian Dream will pay [for electing the judges] will be them losing power in the 2020 elections. The Georgian Dream today gave legitimacy to any opposition force to pursue their protest in any form, because starting from today the Georgian Dream is no longer a legitimate political force.”
Levan Gogichaishvili: “They brought back [on the bench] those people, who created the regime of Saakashvili… I think that a lot of people, who believe that justice and freedom are a priority, will no longer vote for the Georgian Dream.”
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