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Constitutional Court lifts work ban for former Soviet officials

by | Nov 6, 2015
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The Freedom Charter bans Soviet symbols, but also bars former Soviet and Communist Party officials from holding public office for the rest of their lives. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Constitutional Court in Georgia has decided that a controversial provision barring former senior Soviet officials and Communist Party members from holding post in state institutions is unconstitutional.

The court on Tuesday announced the ruling, which was in favor of the claimant in the case ‘Nodar Mumlauri v Parliament’.

Mumlauri argued that provisions in Georgia’s Freedom Charter, article nine, was not in compliance with the Constitution.

Provisions in article 9 read that the former Soviet Union and the USSR Communist Party Central Committee members, secretaries of district and city committees and members of bureaus of the Leninist Communist Youth Union Central Committee cannot hold any posts in state institutions for their entire life.

The Constitutional Court agreed that this is against the 17th article of the Georgian Constitution, which is about the right to human dignity.

The court’s statement, published on Tuesday, reads that the disputed provisions treats the claimant and others in the same situation as targets of law instead of being objects of law.

Mumladze submitted his lawsuit against parliament in December, 2013, shortly after the Freedom Charter was amended.

The law itself was prepared in 2007 but not passed until 2011. Two years later, the new government amended the law.

The Freedom Charter has three main sections: a set of antiterrorist measures, lustration and prohibition of Soviet symbols. The 2013 amendments mostly concerned the prohibition of Soviet and totalitarian symbols.

It was a response by authorities to an increasing number of cases when people erected monuments or busts of Joseph Stalin. The law established restrictions on employment of former Soviet officials, but made it prohibited to publish the list of these people.

The Constitutional Court began hearing the lawsuit in May, 2014.



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