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President Saakasshvili appoints new governors

By Messenger Staff
Monday, January 14
President Saakashvili appointed two new governors on January 12th. Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) Andro Barnovi became the governor of the Shida Kartli region. Barnov served as a deputy defence minister in 2011-2012 and rector of the National Defence Academy in 2010-2012.

While presenting the new governor of Shida Kartli, Saakashvili said that he welcomes people like Barnov in politics and it was an easy decision to offer him a post. “I took this decision without hesitation and furthermore with great pleasure,” the President said.

Former lawmaker from the United National Party Khatuna Ochiauri, was also presented as a new governor of Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. The President said that Ochiauri is “a very experienced politician, despite her young age.”

While presenting the new governors, Saakashvili said that the change of governor was “an important stage– a new blood transfusion.” The president also advised the new governors to co-operate with the government but also serve as a defender of things The United National Movement (UNM) has achieved during their governance.

Accusing the new Georgian Dream government of “pressure on the representatives of the judiciary and local self-governments” Saakashvili said the Georgian Dream is engaging in the personal lives of their opponents, as well as carrying out “political or legal influence.”

“Our government also had special services and carried out special operations, but it was strictly defined that no one should have abused personal lives,” Saakashvili said, accusing the new government in blackmail. He said every “victim” of blackmail should be protected.

However, in his interview with Obieqtivi on Friday, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said Saakashvili can criticize his team if he wants. PM said the “system” the UNM has created during the nine years is effectively providing Georgia’s western allies with false information. However, the Georgian Dream neither has, nor wants to have such a “system.”

PM said he does not want to “assure” the rest of the world how good the Georgian Dream is. “We should show everything with our activities,” he said denying the necessity of having “powerful lobbyists.”

Political analyst, Ramaz Sakvarelidze thinks that the President uses the word “cohabitation” only verbally. “It has been revealed recently that President only speaks on cohabitation without any practical steps towards the way,” the analyst told The Messenger, adding that appointment of new local governors might be serving a new goal either.

“It seems that the President tries to somehow preserve his team by suggesting them high posts and salaries to make them stay in the UNM,” Sakvarelidze said. According to him, the President chooses people who are less aggressive and less irritating in the public eye.