We, the undersigned, the representatives of Georgian civil society organizations would like to address you ahead of your visit to Georgia, to point out outstanding issues we see most important for the democratic development and statecraft in Georgia as well as for the security and stability in the region.
The term of office of the Auditor General of the State Audit Office of Georgia ended on July 25. The new Auditor General will be elected by the nomination of the Chair of the Parliament of Georgia and through the majority vote of the Parliament. According to reports in the media, the Georgian Dream is considering to nominate members of the ruling party for this position.
The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary calls on the Government to change the composition rules (composition) and procedures of the Commission for the selection of the Strasbourg Court judicial candidates. If the majority of the Commission members continue to represent the government branches, representatives of independent institutions will stay in the minority and the Commission will continue to act according to the same procedures. Correspondingly, the involvement of the Commission in the selection process will not ensure the selection and submission of appropriate candidates to Strasbourg.
On July 24, the High Council of Justice dismissed Giorgi Ebanoidze, Tbilisi City Court Criminal Collegium Chair. The Coalition believes that the Council’s decision is illegal and represents another example of power abuse.
We would like to respond to media reports of July 10 showing an informal meeting between Vano Zardiashvili, deputy chairperson of the Georgian Parliament’s Legal Issues Committee, Mikheil Chinchaladze, chairperson of the Tbilisi Court of Appeal, and Giorgi Mikautadze, new secretary of the High Council of Justice. Media reports also included a photo of Giorgi Mikautadze together with leaders of the Georgian Dream ruling party and the Deputy Chief Prosecutor.
The Coalition for Independent and Transparent Judiciary responds to the selection process of the Georgian candidate for the European Court of Human Rights.
The High Council of Justice will hold its first meeting with its renewed composition on July 3. On June 21, the term of 8 members of the HCOJ expired.
On June 12 2017, a draft law amending the Law on National Regulatory Authorities was registered in the Parliament, aiming to limit the scope of the new Civil Service Law on the employees of regulatory authorities. Namely, according to the amendments, the staff of regulatory agencies will be exempt from the requirements of the law in areas of remuneration, classification, bonuses, promotion, disciplinary actions, evaluation, etc.
We are sending this message on behalf of 30 civil society originations to alert you on some very damaging actions by the ruling political party in Georgia, which does adversely affect the quality of democracy in the country and is a dangerous attempt consolidate political power.
On June 19, the ruling party unveiled its decision to keep the mixed election system for the 2020 parliamentary elections and to replace it with a fully proportional election system for the 2024 elections. In addition, according to representatives of the majority, the threshold for the 2020 elections will be reduced to 3% as a one-time initiative, while the decision about the abolishment of party blocks (electoral coalitions) will remain intact.
|11 January 2019|