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Reform of local self-governments

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, February 26
On February 21, the Georgian government received a concept for the reformation of the local self-governments. The system envisages the adoption of certain reforms that provide extra rights to local self-governments and powers for decision-making. Although Georgian territorial integrity remains an ongoing issue, as Russia continues to occupy 20% of Georgian land, the new concept will still be discussed and appropriate amendments will presumably be introduced in the Georgian legislation.

The changes will come into force together with the results of the local self-governmental elections scheduled for spring 2014.

Currently, Georgia has nine administrative territorial/rregional units.( Two regions– Abkhazia and S. Ossetia are not currently controlled by the Georgian government). These regions are divided into 69 municipalities. Five large cities in Georgia have local self-governments: Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Rustavi and Poti and it is only Tbilisi which has a mayor elected directly by people.

The new reform envisages providing more autonomy to different units. They will have the right to choose the prior projects for developing infrastructure on their choice in each municipality. They will also have the rights to monitor the implementation of these projects.

The division of these units will be based on the results of the deep analytical and scientific observation including demographic, geographic, infrastructural, economic, social and cultural criteria and principles. It is believed that the number of municipalities will increase from 69 to around 200 and the exact figure will be known later.

Davit Narmania, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure introduced the changes. Narmania stated that the concept is open for discussion, thus all the Georgian citizens will have an opportunity to participate. Special legislation will be adopted for the mountainous regions of the country, as well as the places in need of special attention.