President's Secretary Criticizes Amendments Abolishing Lifetime Protection of President

Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s parliamentary Secretary Ana Natsvlishvili has criticized proposed amendments to the Special State Protection Service, according to which the President of Georgia will no longer be provided personal life-long bodyguards.

Under the current law, the President of Georgia is entitled to have a personal guard in the workplace and at any permanent or temporary residence until the end of his life. Even the members of the President's family are entitled to personal protection during and after the presidential term until the end of the President's life.  This right is to be revoked.

Natsvlishvili says the initiated changes are another step aiming to limit the safety of the President.

The amendments to the Law on the Special State Protection Service read that the President, the Prime Minister and the Parliament Speaker shall be protected for a period of one year after the expiration or termination of their term in office.

In addition, the government will decide if it is necessary to extend the protection of the President or other officials after the one-time period has expired.

The President’s Secretary says that under the amendments, the safety of the President will in future depend on the good will of the government.

“In recent years, we have seen a number of steps taken to limit and diminish the President's power, and in general, the role of this institute. Now we see another step that aims to limit the security of the President,” she stated, going on to explain that this is a message not only for former or current presidents, but for the future president, too, who will be elected on October 28.

“The President is the head of state and of the armed forces; the President guarantees the country's unity and independence and the highest guarantees of security and protection are required for performing this role effectively and yet now we are facing a reduction of these high guarantees. This is wrong,” she said.

By Thea Morrison


07 September 2018 14:00