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President Zourabichvili: “Grave Concern to Me when Society is Concerned about any of my Decisions”

 President Salome Zourabichvili has declared a moratorium on the use of the pardon power. “When society is concerned about any of my decisions, it is of grave concern to me, too.

“Clemency is not a process that requires to be justified to anyone or go through a court decision. Clemency is a subjective, personal decision under the responsibility of the President. It is an evaluation of circumstances and of the situation by an individual - the President of the country - that does not exclude neither mistake nor different assessment of these circumstances by others,” said the President at a press briefing held at the Presidential Palace.

President Zourabichvili is initiating a revision of the pardoning rules and the elaboration of these rules by a working group of Parliament. “Consultations have already started with the Chairman of Parliament on this issue. We have been preparing the new rules since January, which will be given to the Parliament Chairman. Working groups will be set up next week, where representatives of all parties will come together to set ideal clemency rules to prevent such public concern,” stated the President.

President Zourabichvili declared the moratorium due to the recent developments, and before formulating the new clemency rules. According to the President, there have been speculations about the interference of various people in the decision-making process, including the Administration’s Parliamentary Secretary, who was not involved in this process because of his competence. “I have not received any advice from him, and no one asked him about his opinion regarding any of these decisions.

“These speculations about him, or anyone else within my administration, should end as I am responsible for the decision that I made, and I am not used to shift this responsibility to anyone else,” said the President.

President Zourabichvili announced she was worried about the public concern in this case.

“For the media to agitate the situation, which happens regularly, during successful visits, before leaving abroad, or when returning back, is harmful to the country. “Indeed, I will pay a visit to UN General Assembly at the end of the week, where very important meetings are set to be held, and I hope that it will be very successful visit to our country. We have to realize that while I am overseas, I am representing Georgia, and my work is done exactly for Georgia. “I would also like to mention that I am not used to conspiracy theories. I am not going to meet secretly anyone in New York. If I meet someone, you will know it. My schedule will be clear for all of you, as soon as it is approved,” stated the President.

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