MP Eka Beselia leaves ruling Georgian Dream party

Eka Beselia says that the Georgian Dream no longer has the values it fought for before coming to power. Photo:IPN., 22 Feb 2019 - 13:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Eka Beselia, former head of the Georgian Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, has announced she is leaving the Georgian Dream ruling party, saying that the party had “betrayed its values.”

Beselia cited the ongoing, court-related row as the “decisive issue” which pushed her to “make the painful decision.”

Most of the Georgian Dream legislators refused to support the bill proposed by her and eight other MPs yesterday, which offered the postponement of the lifetime appointment of judges until 2025.

After the decision I stay in parliament as an independent MP and will wait for the decision of my colleagues who share my views,” Beselia stated, and added that she has plans to create a new political platform.

If one more member leaves the ruling party, they will lose the constitutional majority in parliament, which is at least 113 MPs.  After the quit of Levan Gogichaishvili and Eka Beselia the GD now has exactly 113 MPs in the 150-member parliament. 

She stated that the platform will fight for genuine changes in the court system.

She claimed that she has tried to persuade the ruling team to do the following over the past two years:

  • Georgians should be asked whether they support the lifetime appointment of judges, especially of judges who used to deliver unfair verdicts under the United National Movement leadership.
  • The High Council of Justice, the body responsible for the selection and appointment of judges, must be re-composed;
  • A reform must be carried out in the Justice School to allow the entry of new, qualified staff in the court system;
  • Disciplinary accountability must become tougher and the issue must not be in the hands of the High Council of Justice alone;
  • Only judges who were not affiliated with the previous state leadership should be appointed to the Supreme Court.

In its previous statements the ruling party stated that Beselia’s quitting the commission in December 2018 had nothing to do with the court issue, as it had agreed with her back in the summer to leave the post.

The ruling party has asked the Venice Commission to help the country settle the court-related controversy.

Levan Gogichaishvili, another MP of the GD, also quit the party yesterday.