Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Davit Narmania, said he’s stepping down to launch a campaign for Tbilisi mayoral race.
Narmania was first named as ruling Georgian Dream coalition’s candidate for the Tbilisi mayoral office in November, 2013.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Sunday formally set June 15 as the date of local elections; the government is now expected to approve the presidential decree – like many other presidential decrees, this one also requires to be countersigned by the government.
Speaking at a government session on April 14, PM Irakli Garibashvili said that Narmania will not have to fight hard in upcoming elections “as he is the candidate, who has no alternative.”
“I am deeply convinced that he will win these elections convincingly,” Garibashvili told a government session on April 14.
He said that Narmania is a “highly qualified professional, manager” and repeated that he has “no doubt” that Narmania will win the Tbilisi mayoral race.
Narmania thanked cabinet members for cooperation and said that it would not have been possible to overcome numerous challenges if not the “unity” within the government.
“You will face a lot of problems in Tbilisi; former mayor [Gigi] Ugulava left lots of problems, but I believe that you will tackle these problems in dignity like you were addressing [problems] while serving as the minister,” the PM told Narmania.
The PM has yet to name who will replace Narmania on the post of the infrastructure minister.
Other candidates who have announced about intention to run in the Tbilisi mayoral race are: UNM’s Nika Melia, head of Tbilisi’s Mtatsminda district; Dimitri Lortkipanidze, named by a coalition of CDM and Nino Burjanadze’s DMUG party; Kakha Kukava, named by coalition of New Rights and Free Georgia parties; MP Giorgi Gachechiladze, who is the leader of Greens’ Party and who quit the GD parliamentary majority in February; Labor Party named actress Asmat Tkabladze.