Constitutional Court elected on October 20 Zaza Tavadze as its new chairman, replacing Giorgi Papuashvili, whose 10-year term of membership in the Court expired in late September.
Tavadze, who was deputy chair of the Constitutional Court, was elected by secret ballot with five votes, a minimum required for a candidate for the election.
Another candidate for the position was Irine Imerlishvili, who was appointed as the Constitutional Court’s judge by President Giorgi Margvelashvili last month; Imerlishvili served as secretary of President’s national security council before that. Each candidate was nominated by three members of the Court.
Currently there are eight members in the 9-seat Constitutional Court; one seat, which has to be filled by a judge elected by the Parliament, remains vacant.
Normally, term of Constitutional Court’s chairperson is five years, but Tavadze will hold the position for next three years and eight months as his 10-year term as a judge of the Constitutional Court expires in June, 2020.
Before becoming a member of the Constitutional Court in 2010, Tavadze served for two years as Deputy Justice Minister.
Tavadze was among those five judges, who in July accused then chairman of the Constitutional Court, Giorgi Papuashvili, of trying to speed up decisions into politically charged cases and not giving judges reasonable time to properly consider those high-profile cases, which include complaints filed by the Rustavi 2 TV, as well as the case of ex-mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava and former MoD officials from the so called “cable case”; this latter case is associated with the Free Democrats opposition party. Those five judges have been accused by opponents, including lawyers representing complainants in those high-profile cases, of deliberately dragging out verdicts.