Georgia has elected its first Chief Prosecutor.
Today Parliament of Georgia approved a current high official employed in the Chief Prosecutor’s Office as the new Chief Prosecutor of Georgia.
Out of the 150-seat legislative body, 82 lawmakers voted for former first Deputy Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze to the role for a non-renewable six-year term. Fifteen Members of Parliament (MPs) voted against Shotadze’s candidacy.
The move saw Shotadze, 32, become Georgia’s first elected Chief Prosecutor, in accordance with amendments to Georgian legislation.
Parliament’s majority – Georgian Dream (GD) coalition members – revealed their "unanimous support” for Shotadze, whose candidacy was selected by Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani alongside two others before later being approved as the top nominee by Georgia’s Prosecutorial Council.
Despite amendments to the legislation that ensured the selection and confirming process of a Chief Prosecutor was tougher and more democratic, opposition United National Movement (UNM) rejected the choice of candidate.
UNM stressed Shotadze would fail to introduce positive moves in the Prosecutor’s Office, as he was influenced by current Government members.
Several days ago, when answering lawmakers’ questions in Parliament, Shotadze stressed he had a definite view on how to create a more transparent and fair Prosecutor’s Office.
His comments was applauded by Tsulukiani, who said based on Shotadze’s skills, experience and future plans, he would be the "best ever” Chief Prosecutor of Georgia. Shotadze was qualified to do this role, as he has held various positions in the Prosecutor’s Office since 2005, she said.
Amendments to Georgian legislation introduced in September this year meant a new Chief Prosecutor had to meet a range of criteria to be eligible for the post.
Firstly, Georgia’s Justice Minister must select three candidates after consulting with non-governmental and academic field representatives. Then the three candidates needed to be presented before the special Prosecutorial Council, chaired by Tstulukiani. The Council was composed of 14 members – prosecutors, MPs, judges, civil and academic field representatives among them.
The Council was tasked with selecting one candidate, who would then need to be confirmed by the Government then Parliament, before officially being offered the role.