The Parliament of Georgia failed to elect a new public defender (ombudsperson) in a special parliamentary session on December 22. Thus, one of the European Commission’s 12 recommendations to obtain the EU candidate status remains unfulfilled.
On 19 December, Speaker of Parliament Shalva Papuashvili urged President Salome Zurabishvili to convene a special parliamentary session on 22-23 December. Among other things, the Parliament intended to select a new Public Defender.
Today 107 MPs registered in the special parliamentary session. The votes of 90 lawmakers were necessary to elect a new Public Defender. However, at this moment, neither the ruling party nor the opposition had enough votes.
The opposition had suggested the CSO-supported candidates – Ana Abashidze, Giorgi Burjanadze and Nazi Janezashvili. In turn, Georgian Dream called on the opposition to agree on one of the following five candidates: Lela Gaprindashvili, Tinatin Erkvania, Nugzar Kokhreidze, Giorgi Mariamidze, and Ketevan Chachava.
The ruling Georgian Dream did not vote for any candidate today, because according to them, an agreement was not reached with the opposition and the process [of voting] was only a formality. “We will continue our work so that we can somehow agree on a common candidate in the spring parliamentary session,” said the chairperson of the ruling Georgian Dream faction, Mamuka Mdinaradze [Mamuka Mdinaradze was cited as saying by Netgazeti].
The article will be updated!
Timeline of the Leadup to Selecting the Public Defender:
- 20/12/2022 – Georgian Dream, Opposition, Fail to Agree on Joint Candidate for Public Defender
- 28/10/2022 – New Public Defender Must be Free of Political Influence, urges Council of Religions, Minorities,
- 01/09/2022 – Georgian Dream Will Not Nominate Public Defender Candidates, says GD MP
- 01/09/2022 – U.S. Ambassador Urges Inclusivity in Selecting Public Defender
- 09/09/2022 – Public Defender’s Office Criticizes Draft Bill on Nominating Ombudsman
- 15/09/2022 – Parliament Speaker Sets Rules for Nominating Public Defender
- 27/09/2022 – Civil Society Organizations Present Candidates for New Public Defender
- 27/09/2022 – Parliament Reveals Working Group Meant to Evaluate Public Defender Candidates
- 30/09/2022 – Parliament Releases List of Public Defender Applicants
- 10/10/2022 – Civil Society Weighs in on Public Defender Selection Process
- 11/10/2022 – Public Defender Report Met with Ruling Party Scorn
- 15/10/2022 – Review Committee Gives Top Marks to CSO-nominated Public Defender Candidates