PM Gharibashvili states that the USA has provided a lot of aid to Georgia

Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili spoke to journalists about the aid provided by the United States of America to Georgia. “I heard criticism from our former party members. In general, I believe that the further extension, deepening and excess of this polemic is not in the interests of our country. I think that being only critical and asking critical questions is not wise or necessary. Moreover, I want to say and remind everyone that the US, since we regained independence, has implemented many positive projects, and has provided a lot of assistance to our country, in many directions.” – said the Prime Minister of Georgia.

Gharibashvili also spoke about the positive role of the US ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, in the development of relations between the two countries.

“We have a very good, close cooperation and partnership. Mrs Degnan is a very active ambassador, she is actively involved in the implementation of all the projects and programs that the USA implements in our country. I think that with such polemics of ours, we will not strengthen our relations with the US, but weaken them, so it is my task and desire as the Prime Minister to strengthen and take care of these relations.” – Prime Minister responded to the statements of the MPs who left “Georgian Dream”.

Four MPs (Sozar Subari, Dimitri Khunudadze, Mikheil Kavelashvili and Guram Macharashvili) who left “Georgian Dream” shared several letters where they talked about the US’s attempts to drag Georgia into a war with Russia. This rhetoric was continued by Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of “Georgian Dream”, who published a letter on  27July, where he wrote that certain forces were actively trying to drag Georgia into the war, and this goal of theirs is still relevant today.

Georgian Dream not to nominate Public Defender candidates 

Mamuka Mdinaradze, the chairperson of the Georgian Dream parliamentary faction and the party’s executive secretary, stated at a 31 August briefing that the ruling party will not nominate a candidate for the Public Defender “except in the event that there may be an artificial hindering of the process, sabotage, [and] the deliberate non-nomination of candidates by the opposition.”

According to MP Mdinaradze, following meetings with the opposition and civil society and “taking into account their position,” the ruling party decided to register legislative changes in Parliament according to which the general criteria for evaluating a candidate for Public Defender will be outlined.

Per the MP’s explanation, this implies good faith, impartiality, a high reputation, proper professional knowledge, and practical experience in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Parts of the opposition responded with skepticism to the ruling party’s plans for changes to the procedure for selecting the Public Defender. According to Khatia Dekanoidze, a United National Movement MP, Mdinaradze’s statement “is a direct indication that they [Georgian Dream] do not plan on choosing an independent Public Defender and, in general, on fulfilling this important point [of the European Commission’s recommendations].”

According to MP Dekanoidze, the UNM party will participate in the process organized by civil society organizations, after which they will present candidates who “will be truly worthy and independent candidates.”

According to Lelo for Georgia MP Salome Samadashvili, the ruling party’s statements about the opposition sabotaging the new process for selecting a Public Defender is “a bit comical” since the opposition has stated “many times” that it will support the candidate presented by civil society.

Civil society also raised several questions regarding the ruling party’s new procedure for selecting the Public Defender. 

Nika Simonishvili, the chairperson of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), stated that the process “raises a number of questions” from the point of view of reliability. “Perhaps the government will not nominate [the candidate for Public Defender] directly, but the commission created by it and the persons designated within it will nominate the candidate or candidates who will be acceptable to the government,” Simonishvili added and emphasized the importance of an inclusive process.

President appoints Davit Bakradze as Ambassador to UN despite misgivings

President Salome Zurabishvili selected Davit Bakradze as the new Georgian Ambassador to the United Nations in New York despite having serious misgivings about his competency. 

Natia Sulava, the Head of the Presidential Administration, made the announcement on 31 August but stressed that the President’s “negative assessment” of Bakradze’s time as the Georgian Ambassador to the U.S. stands.

Sulava explained that President Zurabishvili “does not consider it appropriate to appoint him as a permanent representative to the United Nations, while a war is going on in our neighboring and friendly country [of Ukraine].”

She underscored that the President had voiced this position on numerous occasions in both public and informal settings. Sulava concluded by highlighting that to date President Zurabishvili has approved every official nomination sent to her by the Government of Georgia.

Bakradze replaced Kakha Imnadze, who had been serving on this position since 2013 and is now moving on to be the Georgian Ambassador to Canada. Imnadze wished Bakradze well as he takes over the position.

President Zurabishvili voiced such concerns during an interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster shortly after she received Bakradze’s candidacy on 15 July. During the interview, the President stated in reference to Bakradze that she does not believe a person who “did nothing” during his time as Ambassador to the U.S. should be appointed to the United Nations.

 

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EGI Political Digest was created with support from Swedish International Liberal Centre (SILC). The views and opinions expressed in this Digest are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of EGI or SILC.

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