President Giorgi Margvelashvili met separately on January 22 with leader of the parliamentary majority group, MP Davit Saganelidze, and senior lawmakers from opposition UNM party as part of his ongoing consultations on nomination of new chairperson of Supreme Court.
10-year term in office of incumbent chairman of Supreme Court, Kote Kublashvili, will expire in late February, 2015. The President has to nominate a candidate, which will then require endorsement by the Parliament; support of at least 76 MPs is needed for a candidate to be approved as chairperson of the Supreme Court.
Last week President Margvelashvili met with civil society representatives over the issue. No specific candidates are yet discussed at the consultations and these meetings, according to president’s administration, mainly aim at exchanging views on criteria based on which a candidate should be selected.
President’s parliamentary secretary, Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze, said on January 22 that the President seeks to select a candidate, which will enjoy with broad support within the Parliament.
GD parliamentary majority leader, MP Davit Saganelidze, told journalists that he had “a very interesting and constructive conversation.”
“We all – Mr. President and the Parliament and the public – have a common goal and that is to [select] a Supreme Court chairperson, who will be a dignified, professional, trustworthy and honorable person,” MP Saganelidze said. He also said that no specific candidates were discussed.
In separate comments later on the same day, MP Saganelidze also said “it’s very positive that the President initiated this process of consultations.”
“It will be good if a candidate, nominated by the President, will enjoy support of not only the parliamentary majority group, but of other lawmakers as well,” MP Saganelidze told Tbilisi-based Imedi TV.
Also on January 22 President Margvelashvili met over the same issue with UNM lawmakers Davit Bakradze, the leader of parliamentary minority group; Zurab Japaridze; Giorgi Baramidze and Levan Bezhashvili.
MP Bakradze said after the meeting that a candidate for Supreme Court chair should be selected based on two key criteria.
“A candidate should be politically neutral… and second – this person should be a highly qualified,” MP Bakradze said.