TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has been without an ambassador to the UK for more than a year.
In recent days, a candidate who is being considered for the post became a subject of dispute among politicians.
During the process of so-called co-habitation between ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili from the National Movement and the new Georgian Dream coalition government, the confirmation of seven ambassadors, including the one to the United Kingdom, was delayed, as Saakashvili didn’t sign the confirmation document.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wanted to present Tedo Japaridze, MP from Georgian Dream, to post of Ambassador to UK, but he refused and wished to remain a member of parliament.
After the presidential election in 2013, the rest of the ambassadors were confirmed, but the post as ambassador to the UK remains vacant.
Recently, there were media reports that Georgian writer Zurab Karumidze was considered as a possible candidate for this post; however Soso Jachvliani, MP from parliament majority didn’t like this candidacy and criticized him in an interview with a conservative newspaper, Asaval-Dasavali.
Jachvliani roughly criticized Karumidze in the interview, calling on parliament not to approve his candidacy.
Davit Zurabishvili, member of the Republican Party and former Deputy Education Minister, responded to Jachvliani’s statement by saying that Jachvliani read something ‘stupid’ in the media and reached the incorrect conclusion that Karumidze doesn’t suit being an ambassador.
“He doesn’t even know what he is talking about,” he said about Jachvliani. “He was just told something stupid and made conclusions.”
Maia Panjikidze, Minister of Foreign Affairs, told journalists on Tuesday confirmed that the government is considering the candidacy of Karumidze for the post as Ambassador to the UK.
“I respect him very much, but this decision is not yet made and no request has been sent anywhere about this issue yet,” she said, adding that according to the new rules, parliament doesn’t review the candidacy of ambassadors, but the Foreign Ministry sends a proposal of candidate to the government directly.
The government is reviewing this candidate and the president signs the appointment. But this procedure has not yet taken place. Therefore, Panjikidze thinks it is not constructive to have this debate right now.