Ana Natsvlishvili, one of the leaders of the Lelo party, a member of the Georgian parliament, says that the re-election of Mikheil Chinchaladze as chairman of the Tbilisi Court of Appeals is "a brazen ignorance of the situation in the country."
Natsvlishvili calls Mikheil Chinchaladze "the main figure in the court clan" and one of the most "odious" figures, noting that one of the main reasons why Georgia has not been granted EU candidate status is the "clan" rule in the court.
"The election of Chinchaladze to the ruling position in the key court, through a non-competitive and pre-determined process, is a brazen ignorance of the situation in the country by the Council of Justice and a step against the state. One of the main reasons why Georgia failed to receive EU candidate status last week is the court-dominated clan governance led by Chinchaladze.
The EU has identified the fundamental reform of the judiciary as one of the key issues in the 12-point plan of preconditions for Georgia's candidacy, but it is now clear from this step that the Council of Justice has already openly refused to implement this reform. The Council dares to take such a step only because it is backed by the Georgian Dream government," Ana Natsvlishvili said.
According to her, the Council of Justice and all its decisions have been experiencing a crisis of legitimacy for many months, as 5 non-judicial members elected by the quota of the Parliament cannot participate in its activities, which violates the constitutional balance in the Council.
"Despite our numerous demands, the Georgian Dream is even blocking the announcement of a competition for non-judicial members of the Council," Natsvlishvili added.
According to Ana Natsvlishvili, failure to implement the 12-point plan will close the door on Georgia's European family for decades and leave the country without a fair court for another decade.
Natsvlishvili once again calls on the Georgian Dream to get involved in the process of forming a government of national consent and fulfilling its 12 points. "Otherwise, it will be fully responsible for the aggravation of the crisis."