The messenger logo

Kutaisi: PM Residence

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 18
The new trend in president Saaakashvili’s politics is to move governmental institutions from Tbilisi to Kutaisi. In the beginning, a decision was made that parliament would be partially relocated to Kutaisi: committees will work in Tbilisi whereas plenary sessions will be in Kutaisi. Just a few days ago, the Georgian population was informed that the government will also move to Kutaisi. The details of this decision are not known as of yet, but in Kutaisi a government house will be built. This is for sure. Officially, the administration claims to be focused on developing Kutaisi, however the critics of these politics suspect there are other reasons. On November 16, president Saakashvili stated that not only the parliament but the government will also be moved to Kutaisi, and he added “we are gradually creeping away from Tbilisi.” While in Kutaisi, the president, aside from developing the city, spoke about the strategic importance of the move. He said that Kutaisi is the biggest city close to the centre of Georgia, that is also located close to the Black sea and Georgia is developing in the direction of the Black sea. Tbilisi should be relaxed about the move as Kutaisi requires development.

In the soviet period, Kutaisi was an industrial city, there was a huge car building factory there. So, it could have been developed in the industrial direction, according to the opponents of current moves. They claim that removing the parliament and government from Tbilisi to Kutaisi is a very costly project and this takes place with the background of many social problems and multi-billion foreign loans which need to be repaid. On one hand the authorities promote the 'tightening of belts' programme and on the other hand the opponents are questioning these projects being implemented in Kutaisi.

Some skeptics think that Saakashvili is not very happy with Tbilisi citizens, because he admitted that in the 2008 presidential elections that he lost in Tbilisi, and there have been numerous protest rallies against him in the capital. Several times the president has mentioned that policy in the country is not made only in Tbilisi and Rustaveli Avenue, whereas all the protest rallies are taking place in front of parliament. It should also be remembered that Saakashvili led the Rose revolution which took place in front of and inside the parliament. Opponents also mention that Saakashvili does not spend much time in the capital and prefers hosting foreign guests in Batumi. Of course if one wants to carry out a protest rally he/she can organize it in Kutaisi as well.

The Analytical brains of Georgia try to delve deep into the possible reasons for constructing Kutaisi government house. As it is known, the second term of presidency of Saakashvili is coming to an end. There have been some steps taken on constitutional and other levels to secure the PM position for him. Logically, he will have to give up his presidential palace in Avlabari but will not have the PM’s residence, and he does not want to go back into the State Chancellery building. So, he will build government house in Kutaisi and, most probably, the PM’s residence will be in Kutaisi as well and he will have parliament at his disposal. Whereas the future president will be left in Tbilisi. This version might have plenty of challenges but who knows.