The US Embassy Tbilisi published a statement noting the ruling party undermined government accountability by abolishing the State Inspector Service, which is mandated to investigate police abuse and protect data privacy, undermined the independence of individual judges by amending the Law on Common Courts, and undermined faith in the judiciary by appointing yet another Supreme Court judge using a flawed selection process.
The Embassy claimed no credible reasons were provided to the public for why these actions needed to be rushed through without appropriate consultation.
“The lack of transparent discussion or analysis of the amendments is particularly troubling. Whether intended or not, the ruling party sent the message that independent oversight of the government or dissenting voices, even when prescribed by law, will be answered with retaliation, discipline, and dismissal.
“The United States supports Georgia’s sovereignty and stability every day through our long-standing security cooperation and economic development programs. Strong democratic institutions and adherence to the rule of law are Georgia’s best defenses against Russian aggression. Steps that weaken democratic institutions, such as the judiciary or independent oversight agencies, damage Georgia’s aspirations for NATO and European Union membership, and undermine the basic freedoms that are the foundation of Georgian culture and society,” reads the statement.