By Public Defender’s Estimate, Georgia’s Technical University Violated Principal Election Rules

On July 14, 2016, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Ministry of Education and Science and the Technical University’s election commission with a recommendation concerning the violation of principal election rules at the Technical University. According to the recommendation, the Ministry should take relevant steps within its competence for eliminating the results of the elections held with violations and for ensuring conduct of new legal elections, while the commission must invalidate registration of Archil Prangishvili as a candidate for university principal as well as the election results.

On 18 February 2016, as a result of the elections held at the Technical University, Archil Prangishvili was elected principal for the third consecutive term. He was elected to the same post in 2009 and 2012 too, while in 2008-2009 he served as acting principal. Election of Prangishvili for the third term was violation of the Law of Georgia on Higher Education, which prohibits election of a principal for more than two consecutive terms in a state-founded higher educational institution.

The Internal Audit Department of the Ministry of Education and Science studied the legality of the elections held at the Technical University, though it did not establish any violation. The Department did not take into account the fact that contrary to the law, activation of the limitations, set by law and university rules, were postponed and the 2012 election was regarded as a starting point in counting of Prangishvili’s term of office. Thus, the facts that Archil Prangishvili was appointed as acting principal in 2008 and was elected principal in 2009 were disregarded.

In addition, the Internal Audit Department claims that A. Prangishvili met the necessary statutory criteria, which is explained by the changes in the legal form of the University that were carried out in 2011 and 2013. However, it should be noted that the statutory limitation on election of a university principal only for two terms was in effect during all changes. Accordingly, the Internal Audit Department’s position cannot be accepted. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the objective of the mentioned limitation, which probably arises from the autonomy of the University and serves the prevention of ruling of the University by one and the same person for an indefinite period of time.

By registration of Archil Prangishvili as a candidate for the university principal, the Technical University’s election commission violated the norms of the Law on Higher Education, which then impacted on the overall outcome of the election.

Woking Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00–18:00
Hot line: 1481 (24/7)