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Ruling Party Names Adjara Gov’t Chair Candidate

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, July 9
The Georgian Dream (GD) majority in Adjara Supreme Council has named their candidate for the post of the autonomous government chair, which became vacant on July 4, when the former Chair, Zurab Pataridze declared about his resignation.

The GD has offered Georgian President, Giorgi Margvelashvili the candidacy of Tornike Rizhvadze, 29, who is the former Director of "Energy Development Fund of Georgia.”

In 2017 he worked as Deputy Energy Minister and in 2013 -2017, Rizhvadze was the advisor of Adjaristskali Georgia (TATA POWER, CLEAN ENERGY INVEST, IFC Joint Venture), and then the company's director. This company is building hydropower plants on the river Adjaristskali.

Rizhvadze received his higher education in Tbilisi State University and also abroad, in London, Kyiv and Pennsylvania, US.He has a wife and two children.

According to the constitution of the Autonomous Republic, President Margvelashvili has two weeks to nominate new head of the local government after consultations with political groups in the Supreme Council; in practice, however, the President can only name a candidate if the nomination enjoys the support of the ruling party.

The Adjara Supreme Council consists of 21 members. In order for the head of the government to be approved, 11 MPs must support the candidate. The majority of the Georgian Dream has 14 mandates in the council.

Opposition parties claim Pataridze’s resignation was demanded by the GD founder and current Chair, the former Prime Minister, billionaire BidzinaIvanishvili, often referred as the “informal governor” of the country.

On June 13, the former Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, resigned due to a difference of opinion with Ivanishvili. The opposition says Pataridze was Kvirikashvili’s team member and a friend, adding this was the reason “Ivanishvili decided to replace him.”

The President stated that he will discuss potential Adjara Government Chair candidates with the Adjara Supreme Council, and not with the GD majority.

“This issue should be discussed and coordinated in Adjara, after consultation with Adjara political forces,” he added.