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New chairmen for city councils

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, July 15
Giorgi Alibegashvili was elected as the new chairperson of the Tbilisi Sakrebulo, or City Council. Giorgi Tkhemaladze became his deputy. 37 members of the Sakrebulo voted in favour of Alibegashvili with eight votes against. Alibegashvili was third on the Georgian Dream list during recent elections.

Tkhemaladze‘s candidacy was supported by 38 members, four voted against him and two abstained from voting.

Alibegashvili said that there are no difference between a major problem or a minor one, and that the Sakrebulo must work on solving each problem equally. “Our first goal is the consolidation of society, so that people have more sympathy toward the body,” Alibegashvili said.

Tkhemaladze said that people will receive information about upcoming changes during the next sessions.

Jaba Samushia, a member of the majority party in the Sakrebulo, said that after appointing the new heads there will be no confrontation between the Sakrebulo and the Mayor’s Office. “Until now the members of the United National Movement (UNM) were not giving [the council] the opportunity to work normally,” Samushia said.

In the new City Council the Georgian Dream has 37 deputies, the UNM has 7, Nino Burjanadze has 3, and the Patriotic Alliance has 2. One more member, Alexander Elisashvili, is an independent candidate.

Batumi also has a new head of its Sakrebulo. The post was taken over by the coalition representative Irakli Tcheishvili . The UNM did not take part in the voting process.

Giorgi Kirtadze, a member of the UNM, stated that Tcheishvili is planning to dismiss the current staff of the Sakrebulo. “The only thing I can do is to hope that qualified staff will be safe; we will do everything for this,” Kirtadze said.

Giorgi Tsintskiladze, a member of Nino Burjanadze – Unified Opposition, appealed to Tcheishvili to respect the opposition and work with them.

Tcheishvili said that he has a plan drafted aiming at certain changes. He stressed that the changes would be only for the improvements in the body of the council.

Tcheishvili was the first on the Georgian Dream (GD) election list. After the 2012 elections, Tcheishvili became the head of the government administration of Adjara. Years ago, he had been working in the press service of Levan Varshalomidze, the former head of the Government of Adjara.

Davit Dvali took the same position in Kutaisi. He was in the list of GD. Dvali also was a member of the previous board and then he was a representative of the Christian Democrats.

Otar Kharchilava took the Sakrebulo chairperson’s position in Poti. Gogi Kheladze was elected in the Lanchkhuti region.