Politician to Change His Name to 'Pine Cone' Before Presidential Bid

Leader of political party Girchi (pine cone), Zurab Japaridze, told supporters yesterday that he intends to apply to the Georgian Ministry of Justice for an official name change. Japaridze wants to add a middle name – Girchi. He plans to make the change before registering as an official candidate for President of Georgia in the upcoming elections, October 28.

The rules of the Georgian Central Election Commission prohibit Japaridze from registering as the official presidential candidate of the Girchi party. Any political party that wants to present a presidential candidate must have been registered in the previous parliamentary elections. Japaridze is still eligible to run as an independent candidate, but says “It is of the utmost importance for me and the Girchi party that the party name to be printed on the ballot paper. My name is closely connected with the party.”

Japaridze’s solution is to change his name to include the party’s name, so that the word ‘Girchi’ will appear on the ballot.

If the Georgian Justice Ministry approves his name change request, Japaridze will be stuck with the name for life. Georgia previously allowed multiple name changes, but recently restricted it to one per person per lifetime as part of reforms made to protect the Georgia-EU visa waiver program.

Japaridze plans to register his new name today, August 10. “The registration of such a change requires 60 days. If the ministry takes the full term I will not be able to register myself [on the presidential ballot] as Zurab Girchi Japaridze,” Japaridze said, requesting an expedited decision from the Ministry.

Girchi’s main political platform includes the legalization of drug consumption and the abolition of compulsory military service. They recently had a major victory when The Georgian Constitutional Court ruled in favor of a case brought by Japaridze and fellow party member Vakhtang Megrelishvili, resulting in the legalization of marijuana consumption nationwide.


By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Twitter


Related Stories:

Patriarch Condemns Marijuana Legalization

Smoking Marijuana Legalized in Georgia

10 August 2018 14:17