US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan on Friday expressed her hope that Georgia would have as ‘qualified, courageous and unbiased” public advocate, as incumbent Nino Lomjaria, whose term expires this month, with the parliament currently engaged with the selection process of a new public defender.
Degnan said that the main duty of the ombudsperson “is to speak the truth when it comes to protecting human rights, and this, of course, requires a great deal of courage, integrity and commitment to the job”.
“The US Embassy is very proud that it has supported Lomjaria and her office over the years. Through joint efforts the office is responding more effectively to the needs of the population, to protect people's rights. It is a great privilege for us to cooperate with the Office of the Public Defender, it is an extremely, fundamentally important institution of the country”, Degnan said.
The diplomat expressed hope that the selection process of Lomjaria’s successor would end up by the approval of “such a qualified, honest and professional public defender, who will have the courage to speak the truth. We will continue this cooperation", said Degnan.
The ruling Georgian Dream party representatives, who have many times slammed Lomjaria and accused her of cooperating with “radical, domestic opposition forces”, have stated that they would never support the public advocate similar to Lomjaria.