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Opposition Slams President for Naming Tbilisi Ex-Mayor’s as Candidate for GNERC Membership

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, December 18
(TBILISI)—Georgian opposition parties have come out against President Giorgi Margvelashvili after he named former Tbilisi Mayor David Narmania as a candidate to become a member of the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission (GNERC).

The opposition claims the new position, which is four-times better-paid than hissalary as mayor, is a reward for Narmania from Georgia’s “informal ruler”, the eccentric billionaire tycoon and former prime minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The opposition United National Movement (UNM) says during his three years in City Hall, Narmania granted dozens of construction permits to Ivanishvili’s companies, many of which destroyed historicalcomposition of the capital.

“I am surprised that the president announced Narmania’s candidacy. This means he laughed at the population, because everyone knows how inefficient mayor Narmania was,” Irakli Nadiradze, member of the UNM stressed.

European Georgia opposition party also slammed Margvelashvili announcement, saying it is clear that the GD rewards “obedient” officials.

The parliament willmake a final decision regarding Narmania. If seated, he will serve a 6-year term with the GNERC.

Narmania’s annual salary was around 38,000 GEL ($14,123.20)asTbilisi’s mayor. If he is seated as a member of GNERC, his annual salary will increase to 146,000 GEL ($57,480.20), one of the highest-paid state jobs in the country.

Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission is the legal entity established under the Law of Georgia on National Regulatory Authorities, which regulates the electricity, natural gas and water supply sectors.