The Head of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Zurab Pataradze, who held the post since July 2016, announced his resignation at a news briefing on July 4.
Pataradze opened his remarks by summing up the projects implemented during his two-year tenure in the office, extending his special gratitude to GD leader and founder Bidzina Ivanishvili for financing the infrastructure projects through his Cartu Foundation.
He then stressed that his resignation was a “team-based” decision. “I would like to emphasize that I was, I am and I will be a member of the Georgian Dream party,” Pataradze noted, referring to the media reports that his resignation was related to his close ties with former Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
Asked about his successor, Pataradze said the consultations were underway and that the candidate would be announced in coming days.
Opposition politicians in the region slammed Bidzina Ivanishvili for his “single-handed” decision, with United National Movement’s Giorgi Kirtadze saying the party leader did not even bother to consult with the GD representation in the Supreme Council, the legislative assembly of the region.
“The Georgian Dream failed to ensure stable governance in the region and locals have been gradually turning poorer,” Petre Zambakhidze of the European Georgia stressed. “This is because it is the single man and his personal interests running the country,” Zambakhidze added.
Pataradze will remain an acting head of the local government before the Supreme Council confirms a new chairman of the Autonomous Republic’s four-member cabinet of ministers.
According to the constitution of the Autonomous Republic, President Giorgi Margvelashvili has two weeks to nominate new head of the local government after consultations with political groups in the Supreme Council; in practice, however, the President can only name a candidate if the nomination enjoys the support of the ruling party.
The chairperson of the Adjara government then nominates to the Supreme Council the candidates for the posts of ministers. The cabinet as a whole will then require confirmation by the 21-member Supreme Council, where the Georgian Dream party commands majority of mandates.