The committee on human rights of the Georgian parliament on Monday supported all candidates nominated to become the next public defender with a majority of votes.
Giorgi Burjanadze received nine votes, the most of any candidate, during the voting held at the committee session.
Committee chair Mikheil Sarjveladze explained the ruling Georgian Dream party faction had made the decision to support all candidates with the intention of “not interfering” with political consultations over the election.
We are trying to elect a public defender, not an opposition cheerleader, supporter and lobbyist. It is important for us to elect a public defender who will be everyone's public defender and will be their defender and supporter regardless of political affiliation. We want to elect such a person”, Sarjveladze said.
The approval of the new public defender requires at least 90 votes in the 150-member parliament, which means the ruling party - which currently has 75 MPs - and the opposition will need to cooperate as the public defender position becomes vacant next month.
Lawmakers have already heard from the candidates - nominated by domestic non-governmental organisations and other groups before their evaluation by a parliamentary working group created in September - about their visions for the position.