MP Irakli Kobakhidze, chief of the ruling Georgian Dream party’s election campaign for the upcoming October 31 polls, told Rustavi 2 TV on September 25 that Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria is “the opposition’s ombudsperson.”
MP Kobakhidze’s remarks came after Public Defender Nino Lomjaria expressed her concern at the report from opposition activists, that they were “blackmailed with [covert recordings] of their private lives” ahead of parliamentary elections. Lomjaria noted that the Ombudsperson’s Office provided the Ministry of Interior with the relevant information and offered to cooperate with the investigation.
MP Kobakhidze slammed Public Defender’s remarks as “irresponsible” and “shameful,” and claimed that “the Public Defender is essentially the same as an NGO.” MP Kobakhidze then criticized Lomjaria, as well as watchdogs for refusing to providing the identities of the alleged victims.
“We have been hearing these statements from NGOs [for 10 years now],” Kobakhidze went on, adding that “how could it be that […]none [of the alleged victims] is coming forward and speaking out?”
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