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Problems of territorial arrangement of the country

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 10
The current Georgian government plans to carry out rapid reform of the local self-governments so that the local self-government elections in 2014 should be held under the new conditions. Some analysts and politicians challenge this haste. Many problems are appearing in the context of the forthcoming changes.

The new Georgian administration wants tense cooperation among the population and local self-governing bodies. Therefore, it wants to establish a new system of self-governance based on active involvement of the citizens in the governing system. According to this new approach the number of self-governing towns will increase.

Meanwhile, in the villages, communities will be established. As a result of the planned reform, around 3,500 self-governing councils will be created in the villages. The function of these bodies will be suggesting priorities and the inclusion of the local population in solving the current problems.

This approach is supported because it gives the local population a better chance to identify and solve the problems. However, some analysts see an increase in the number of municipalities problematic. There is no distinct plan describing this part of the project. Instead of 63 existing municipalities it is planned to establish around 300. It means that instead of one exciting municipality it will be distributed among 3-4. Precedents of such distribution exist in European countries but in Georgia’s case, changes will result in a huge increase of administrative bodies as there will be 4 times more members of administrative bodies of councils and it will increase administrative expenses as well.

Such distribution is planned to be carried out quickly to manage execution of local self-governance elections in 2014 according to the new rules.

The question is, if the political parties and the Central Election Commission (CEC) will be able to get ready for such changes in due time. Another question is how directly elected majoritarians will be chosen? It is not clear how the regional governance will be carried out, as Georgia’s new administration plans to abolish the institute of regional governors.

Some analysts and politicians see attempts of establishing a federal system in Georgia in such an approach. So it looks like this issue requires more effort. The reforms should be rational and based on professional calculation and convincing to the total population of the country.