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Opposition criticizes gov't and President for nominating ex-mayor as GNERC Head

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, September 20
Parliamentary opposition parties, European Georgia and the United National Movement criticize the government and the President for nominating ex-Mayor of Tbilisi, David Narmania on the post of the Head of Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission (GNERC).

The initiative belongs to the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, who has already met Narmania to discuss plans.

Earlier, former Tbilisi mayor Narmania said that consultations with the majority were underway and that he would be ready to lead the GNERC if the decision was taken. The mandate of Irina Milorava, the chairman of the regulatory commission, expired on September 16.

Later, his candidacy was suggested to the parliament by the government. The issue has already been discussed at the bureau sitting and after that, Narmania will have to gain support from parliamentary committees and the plenary sessions.

UNM member Roman Gotsiridze says his party will not support Narmania’s candidacy.

“The GNERC was obedient to the government, it was politically influenced, it set prices, tariffs not because of market demand, but for political purposes. This means that GNERC former Head was obeying the government but now we will have even worse Head and the quality of the obedience will increase, "said Gotsiridze.

Zurab Chiaberashvili from European Georgia also speaks about the same problem. He said that the former Mayor was not successful in his activities but will get a nice position because he is loyal to the government.

"We see that this unsuccessful person in the Georgian Dream, who used to drastically fail, will find himself in the warmest place, in the best bureaucratic position. We should again expect an increase in tariffs… Georgian Dream does not care about people, they are interested in their own well-being,” he said.

Davit Narmania is a member of the ruling party and he is an economist with academic background. He was Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia from 2012 to 2014.

He won the mayoral race in Tbilisi as the ruling Georgian Dream coalition candidate in July 2014. In November 2017, after his term was over, he as substituted by the current Mayor Kakha Kaladze.

The opposition has always slammed Narmania during his Mayor term, saying all his decisions were politically motivated and not effective for the residents of the capital.