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Ex-foreign minister for Kutaisi mayor

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, September 11
One of Georgia’s chief parliamentary opposition parties, the United National Movement (UNM), has presented Grigol Vashadze as its candidate for the mayoral race in Kutaisi, western Georgia.

Vashadze, who is a former Foreign Minister, claims he will focus on the touristic potential of Kutaisi by creating five major tourist sites in one year if he becomes the Mayor.

“One of the key preconditions for Kutaisi’s development is to use the full tourism potential of the city… when there are so many nature miracles around here…and also architecture masterpieces, it is a crime not to use this potential,” he stated.

Vashadze promised that a mayor’s scholarship will be established for poor families and successful students, who will be sent abroad to further their education. The candidate also announced the establishment of a special fund for children who need medical operations abroad.

“It is an injustice and a tragedy when people die because they do not have the money to take care of their health. The Kutaisi population can count on the city authorities and they should not feel abandoned or insecure,” he added.

The UNM candidate also claimed he will cut the administrative expenses of the city. He believes this step will save 10 million GEL of the city budget.

“Nobody will receive bonuses in Kutaisi City Hall and no one will have a personal car with a driver in the structure of the Mayor’s Office. These cars will be sold at auctions and we will purchase additional ambulance cars with this money,” he stressed.

While delivering a speech at his presentation, Vashadze underlined that the involvement of the population in decision-making processes is very important for developing democracy in the country.

“Democracy primarily means openness, equality, constant contact with the citizens, eliminating corruption and nepotism, respecting different opinions and making decisions through consensus. This must become our way of life,” he added.

The municipal elections will take place on October 21.

The UNM party has united into an election bloc with two other opposition parties: the Georgian Christian-Conservative Party and the National-Democratic Party.