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Number of President’s Guards to Be Reduced

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, December 12
The number of security guards of Georgia’s president-elect Salome Zourabichvili will be reduced.

The information was released by Anzor Chubinidze, Head of State Security Special Service said.

According to him, changes would refer to both the number and quality.

“When there is no need, the quality will also be reduced. This will be reflected on the involvement of material-technical base of the service,” Chubinidze said.

The Head of State Security Special Service also stated that after the inauguration of Zourabichvili on December 16, Orbeliani residence on Atoneli Street, Old Tbilisi, will be ready for her.

“There are some technical details left, but the president will be able to move in Atoneli residence…The building needed some repairing works but I do not know anything about its costs.

Chubinidze also added that the State Security Special Service already protects the new residence of the president-elect.

The new president will not live in the Presidential Palace located in Avlabari, instead, she will move into Atoneli Residence, which was initially prepared for the outgoing President Giorgi Margvelashvili, who refused to live there when he became a president in 2013.

During the pre-election campaign, Zourabichvili mentioned several times that she would not live in the Avlabari residence if she became a president, noting it is a state-owned building where the country's premier or foreign ministry would be better placed than the President’s Administration.

In addition to reducing new president’s guards, the funding of the Presidential Administration will also be reduced by around GEL 4 million and The Presidential reserve fund will be totally abolished.

Also, the number of employees of the new president’s administration will be reduced by about 60%.

Currently, 140 people are working in the administration but 2019 draft budget says this number will be reduced to 60.

Zourabichvili commented on the issue, saying it is a budgetary process and there is nothing problematic about it.