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Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge village has a woman governor

By Liza Mchedlidze
Thursday, October 1
For the first time in its history, Georgia’s Muslim-populated, eastern Pankisi gorge village Duisi has a female governor.

The 55 year-old Tamar Margoshvili has just been selected for the post since she applied for it twice since December 2014 when the seat became vacant, the Kakheti Information Centre announced.

“When I first passed my exams for gaining the position in 2014 I was offered some other job in the village municipality. However, I wanted to be governor, and applied for the post for the second time this year,” Margoshvili told the local news agency.

She stressed that she had all skills to appropriately run the village.

“I am not in any way inferior to the men of the village,” she said.

Margoshvili, who earlier was engaged with giving lessons at the village’s educational institutions, has stressed that she was especially interested in the investigation of controversial Lapankuri special operation under the previous state leadership that claimed the lives of Georgia’s law-enforcement officers and Pankisi Gorge residents, Margoshvili’s close relative among them.

On August 29, 2012 the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) stated that it was carrying out an anti-terrorist operation against an armed group close to Lapankuri village in the Lopota gorge, not far from the Dagestan section of the Georgian-Russian border. Later on the same day, it announced that eleven armed individuals and three Georgian special service personnel were killed in a clash that was preceded by a hostage-taking incident. After the initial denials, the Interior Ministry confirmed on September 2 that among the gunmen killed in the clash, two were Georgian citizens as well.

The investigation was re-opened over the case by the current state leadership and is still in progress. The Public Defender of Georgia has also made a report saying that he saw the faults of the previous Government in the operation.

On another note, the local media has stated that some religious leaders and municipality representatives were against the woman’s appointment to the post as they believed women should be at home, caring about the family, while several others supported her, saying that she was a capable woman and a good choice for the seat.