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Newly Elected Tbilisi Mayor Officially Takes Up Post, Names Deputies

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, November 14
Newly-elected Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze officially began work in his post on Monday.

While speaking with journalists, Kaladze thanked his supporters and noted he plans to launch several important projects during his tenure as a Mayor.

Kaladzealso announced a reorganization of City Hall, naming four new deputies to his team. Irakli Khmaladze, Kaladze’s colleague from the Energy Ministry, was named as a Vice-Mayor. Maia Bitadze, a former Deputy Minister of the Environment, will work as a Deputy Mayor along with Giga Nikoleishvili, who previously served as a Deputy Mayor during the previous administration of David Narmania.

Another new face added by Kaladze is Irakli Bendeliani, who will serve in as-yet-unnamed capacity. According to his official bio, Bendeliani has previous experience in the economic and infrastructure fields.

Kaladze said that he plans to name Energy Minister Ilia Eloshvili to his cabinet after the Energy Ministry merges with the Ministry of Economy.

“I will introduce the rest of my team members soon and I hope that we all will manage to transform Tbilisi into a city full of life as quickly as possible,” said Kaladze.

Former Mayor Narmania met with his successor in City Hall and wished Kaladze, a former footballer-turned-politician, success in his future activities.

“I wish the new Mayor success in implementing a lot of good projects and programs for our city…We had many challenges during my term, some of which have been overcome by our efforts. However, there are still some very important challenges left,” Narmania stated.

Kaladze returned the pleasantries and thanked Narmania for his service to the city.

“I can openly declare that this person created such a foundation in Tbilisi City Hall that it will be easier for us to make important and quick decisions over the next four years,” said Kaladze.

In his closing remarks, Kaladze also announced that a special civil platform will be created for Tbilisi residents where they will be able to present their views, opinions and problems in a public forum.

“It is up to the citizens to decide which projects will be implemented and where. We need more civil engagement and control in Tbilisi,” Kaladze stated.

Kaladze, 39, started his political career in October 2012 after a successful career as a professional footballer in Europe and with the Georgian National Team.

He previously served as Energy Minister from November 2012-July 2017.