DRI intends to check the work expertise of the Georgian Dream mayoral candidates

The Democracy Research Institute continues to carry out a project called "Support to the Security Sector Reform in Georgia", one of the directions of which is to study the so-called Odeers institution and to promote the existence of public and private institutions free from the influence of the State Security Service.

Accordingly, the attention of the Democracy Research Institute was drawn by the Main Accents TV story aired on September 12, according to which, the mayoral candidates nominated by the Georgian Dream party had held high positions in the law enforcement agencies in the past and/or secretly cooperated (secret agents) with various law enforcement agencies at different times (mainly during the united National Movement rule). According to the reports, some of them were tasked with covert wiretapping and surveillance of specific individuals.

Due to the high public interest, DRI considers it necessary to verify the reports with official sources. According to paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the Law of Georgia on Conflict of Interest and Corruption in Public Service, an official is obliged to submit an asset declaration to the Civil Service Bureau within two months after being appointed to the official position and the latter shall ensure the publicity of the declaration.[1] It should be noted that the website of the Civil Service Bureau has not published the asset declarations of persons who, according to the information released on September 12, held the kind of positions in the law enforcement agencies, which, according to the law, are subject to the submission of a declaration.[2] That is why the Democracy Research Institute applies to the Civil Service Bureau and requests the asset declarations of these individuals (four persons in total). The Democracy Research Institute requests information from the Civil Service Bureau only about those individuals who were required by law[3] to submit asset declarations.

Georgian legislation does not deprive people who have experience of working in the law enforcement agencies of passive suffrage, however, given that these individuals have been nominated as municipal mayoral candidates, it is essential that voters should have comprehensive information about their work expertise.

[1] Law of Georgia on Civil Service, Article 20, paragraph 1.

[2] Law on Conflict of Interest and Corruption in Public Service, Article 2.

[3] Ibid.