Government Proposes to End Life-Time Protection to Top Officials

The Government initiated amendments to the law on August 27, which would end the life-time security protection to Georgia’s top officials.

The bill prepared by the Special State Protection Service abolishes the life-time security protection to former Heads of State, reducing it to one year following the officials’ exit from the office. The same rules apply to Prime Ministers and the Parliament Speakers.

At the same time, the proposed bill says the government might decide to prolong the security protection “if there is sufficient proof that their lives and health are threatened,” provided they did not previously violate the constitution or commit a crime.

According to the legislation currently in force, “the President of Georgia shall, from the day of his/her election up to the end of his/her life, be provided with personal security at the workplace and at places of temporary or permanent residence.”

Tabling of the proposal ahead of the Presidential elections, slated for October 28, triggered sharp reaction from the outgoing president’s office.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s parliamentary secretary, Ana Natsvlishvili said on September 7 that the proposed amendment is aimed at reducing and degrading “president’s authority and the role of this institution.”

Natsvlishvili believes, tabling the bill during the election campaign is a message to the incumbent, as well as the future Presidents “that their security, which is so crucial to fulfilling their duties, would depend upon the government decision and goodwill.”

MP Khatuna Gogorishvili from the opposition European Georgia also denounced the proposal, saying the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) sends a message to the state officials that “their welfare depends on their personal relations with the GDDG.”

First Deputy Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili said such interpretation ignores that the amendments equally apply to prime minister, parliament speakers and other state officials.

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