Parliament approved Eka Tkeshelashvili, a thirty-year-old ex-justice minister, as the new General Prosecutor by 144 votes to zero on January 31. The opposition boycotted voting on and discussion of the nomination.
Tkeshelashvili, Georgia’s first-ever female chief prosecutor, has replaced Zurab Adeishvili. Adeishvili, a highly influential figure in President Saakashvili’s inner circle, will now become chief of the president’s administration.
Tkeshelashvili had served as Minister of Justice since September 2007 and was the chairperson of the government’s inter-agency group which was set up to act as a rapid reaction mechanism to violations during the election campaign and polling day for the January 5 presidential election.
Her role in overseeing the conduct of the election has made her a favourite opposition target. The opposition claims what they say is her politically-motivated bias makes her unsuitable for her new job as General Prosecutor.
Before joining the cabinet in September, Tkeshelashvili was the chairperson of the Court of Appeals. She also served as Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Interior Minister. She holds a diploma in international law from Tbilisi State University and an LLM from the University of Notre Dame in the United States.
President Saakashvili said on January 24 that the decision to replace Adeishvili with Tkeshelashvili was done to “humanize” the office. “This [change] is not simply a staff reshuffle. It shows the need to revise many approaches, and while preserving good tendencies, the need to humanize this field. We need closer contact with the public,” Saakashvili said.