The messenger logo

Who will appoint regional governors?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, November 7
There is one more topic of confrontation between the ruling Georgian Dream and the United National Movement (UNM). This is the issue of who will appoint the regional governors. President Saakashvili provoked this problem when after the elections of October 1 where his party lost, he urgently appointed several governors without even consulting the new government. The new leadership of the country wants to change this attitude and law so that governors are appointed not by the president alone, but by the PM after having consultations with the president. It has become apparent that after the October elections, there is a duplication of power in the country. The parliamentary majority belongs to the Georgian Dream, whereas the UNM controls local self-governance and the governors of all the regions are from their party. Of course the president is in the opposition. According to current legislation, governors are appointed/dismissed after having consultations with the PM. The governors are responsible for controlling local self-governance and officials. At regular intervals they have to submit the reports of self-governance of the region to the president and the government. They then provide recommendations about the promotion or dismissal of particular officials in the region. The governor is also responsible for overseeing the socio-economic programs in the region, as well as attracting investments.

Currently, the Georgian Constitution stipulates that the president has the initiative in this regard. However, from the autumn of 2013, this will become the PM’s priority. Since the October 1 elections, the president has made several appointments without consultations with the PM. This has created discontent among the ruling party members. Therefore they initiated the transfer of this power to the PM immediately. One can ask– why is this speed necessary? Several analysts suggest that by exercising this power control, the regional leadership, president and his party is probably preparing for revenge.

The UNM, who is the parliamentary minority, deny such a possibility and criticize the current leadership for interfering in the local self-governance system and trying to establish their influence in the regions. The Georgian Dream states that it is for the genuine self-governance, while today the UNM exercises its influence in the region.