President Saakashvili has decided to replace ambassadors in number of countries, his administration said on January 4.
Earlier on January 4 Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said that the Foreign Ministry wanted to replace several ambassadors; she said that some ambassadors would be replaced as part of a routine diplomatic rotation, but there were also at least nine diplomats whom the Foreign Ministry accused of pursuing narrow party interests of President Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM).
Only the President has the right to dismiss an ambassador upon a recommendation from Foreign Minister.
President’s administration said in a statement that the President replaced those ambassadors who had filed for resignation, as well as those whose term in office expired.
The statement says that changes also applied to those ambassadors whose replacement was decided as a result of “consultations with the government”.
It also said that the President “nominated for a vacant ambassadorial post in France a candidate proposed by the government.” The President’s administration did not specify who has been nominated for this post.
The Foreign Ministry has also declined to specify, but First Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani confirmed media reports that one of the possible nominations for the post of Georgia’s ambassador to France was Ekaterine Siradze-Delaunay; she was an executive director of a Tbilisi-based election watchdog International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) in 2007-2011.