Georgian Dream Accuses Opposition of Meddling in Constitutional Court

TBILISI – Members of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition have accused the main opposition United National Movement (UNM) party of former President Mikheil Saakashvili of colluding with sitting members of the judiciary to change the country’s constitution.

“These are secret relations, but the UNM’s plot to influence the court will not come true,” GD Chair Gia Volski said while accusing the UNM of illegally attempting to change the constitution.

Volski and the Head of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, Eka Beselia held a press conference on August 3, saying the situation in the Constitutional Court is “extremely difficult.”

According to Beselia, the investigation will show that members of the UNM put pressure on constitutional court judges to overlook politically connected cases.

None of the judges involved in the investigation have responded to the accusations.

The scandal involving the Constitutional Court started on July 21 when the Court Chair, Giorgi Papuashvili staid certain judges were being pressured in order to make them rule out in favor of government.

The Prosecutor General’s office launched an immediate investigation into the incident and questioned each member of the nine-seat court.

According to a report earlier this week, all of the judges who were questioned deny that they are being pressured.

In late July, five judges of the Court released a letter that accused Papuashvili of trying to speed up politically connected rulings and not giving judges enough time to properly consider certain high-profile cases.

According to Parliament Speaker and leader of the opposition Republican Party, David Usupashvili, the Constitutional Court is undergoing a major crisis.

“I lost my hope that something positive might happen in the current Constitutional Court,” Usupashvili said.

He added that the court needs new appointments to the bench before the current group’s term expires in September.

By Thea Morrison

Edited by Nicholas Waller

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