Former Members of the Supreme Council of Adjara Holding New Positions
Just like the Central Government of Georgia, the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara and the Supreme Council widely apply the practice of appointing former MPs to various positions. As Teimuraz Chkuaseli, member of the faction “Georgian Dream” stated in the eighth convocation of the Parliament, former MPs of the ruling party received such promise while still being in power in January 2016, directly from Ivanishvili, former Prime Minister. In particular, the members of the Parliament, who failed to be included in the election list, were promised to be given an office in executive power, LEPLs or business sector.
Following 2016 parliamentary elections, employment of former MPs in various state agencies has become a matter of public interest.
“Transparency International – Georgia” studied the situation in the Supreme Council and the Government of Adjara. Based on our observation, we can conclude that the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara and the Supreme Council employ similar practice. In particular, on 9 January 2017, Zurab Pataradze, Chairman of the Government of Adjara appointed the former Chairman of the Supreme Council Avtandil Beridze as head of the Department of Relations with the Supreme Council of the Government. According to the bylaws, the given department is in charge of ensuring coordinated work of the Supreme Council of Adjara and the Executive Authority in the legislative field. As the media reports, along with Avtandil Beridze, Aleksandre Chitishvili, another former member of the Council, was also considered as a potential candidate to this position, though Chitishvili has not been given any office so far. Before adoption of the final decision, the local media actively discussed the possibility of Beridze’s appointment as Minister of Education and Culture.
Akaki Dzneladze, former MP and representative of the “Georgian Dream”, has also been given office in the Supreme Council of Adjara. Currently, he serves as an assistant to the Chairman of the Commission on Education, Science, Culture and Sport; the Commission is headed by Lado Mgaloblishvili, former Deputy Minister of Education.
As it was announced on February 13, Anzor Tkhilaishvili, former member of the Supreme Council was appointed as the Deputy Head of Archives Division at the government subordinated agency.
Apart from the members of the ruling party, Sulkhan Glonti, a former member of the party “Irakli Alasania - Free Democrats” and a former member of the Supreme Council of Adjara, was also employed in the public office. He is in charge of the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara.
Apparently, employment of former MPs from the ruling party and former members of the Supreme Council of Adjara in public service and state companies has been established as a widespread practice. There are questions with regard to reasonability of employing persons who are no longer in legislative or executive power. It is not acceptable to employ persons in budgetary organizations on the grounds of their membership in the ruling political team. Similar practice was prevalent during the National Movement’s rule in the Parliament of Georgia, as well as in government subordinated bodies, Tbilisi City Hall and other budgetary organizations.
It is crucial that the public has no doubts with respect to expediency of certain personnel decisions; former membership of Parliament should not serve as a guarantee of employment in public office.