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Post election fall-out: Several governors resign

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 30
The governors of several regions of Georgia resigned after the October 27th presidential election in Georgia. The resignation letters have been submitted to the president’s administration by the governors of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Imereti, Kvemo Kartli, Guria and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions.

The government of Georgia will begin discussing the issue of appointing new governors.

It has been reported that the authorities will discuss the candidacies of new governors with the political council of the Georgian Dream coalition.

According to the amended legislation, governors of the Georgian regions will be appointed by the government and not by the president as it was previously. The amendments to the constitution will be enforced from the moment new President Giorgi Margvelashvili takes his oath on November 17th. Currently, Georgia has nine governors.

Governor of Kvemo Kartli Davit Kirkitadze emphasized that he has a “totally” different vision from the newly elected president of Georgia.

“On the other hand, I am a member of the United National Movement (UNM) and the new president represents the Georgian Dream coalition. From my point of view, our collaboration is unimaginable,” Kirkitadze stressed.

Imereti Governor, Vakhtang Balavadze, has made practically the same statement.

Several other governors stressed that they will quit their positions after the inauguration of the new president

Governor of Shida Kartli, Zurab Chkheidze, stated that he would continue his career with the UNM after he leaves his post.

Kakheti Governor Zurab Tchiaberashvili stated that he will stay on his post until the inauguration of the new president and then will resign.

Representative of the coalition Zviad Dzidziguri stated that the step made by the governors was “logical”.

“When the government and president are from the coalition, leading positions should be taken by the Georgian Dream representatives,” Dzidziguri stated.

Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Davit Narmania, suggested that the governors' decision to leave their posts would not create any problems for the state.

“When the new constitution comes into force, the appropriate staff will be selected through consultations,” Narmania stated.

However, Minister of Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili thinks that the governors “staged a play” by their statements.

“They would have to quit their positions anyway. They had responsibilities towards the President of Georgia. According to the new constitution, governors will be responsible towards the government and they will be appointed by the cabinet of ministers,” Zakareishvili stated.

The minister said that the government has not yet launched discussions about the new governors.

“The issue might be discussed on October 30, at a government sitting. We might choose the date that we will launch active discussions on the future governors,” Zakareishvili stated.