At a special briefing today, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze announced previous system of managing Georgia’s regions has “failed to respond to existing challenges.” This is his first major move since the new cabinet won confidence on July 17.
The governors are directly appointed by the Prime Minister, although regional policy was previously managed through the Ministry for Infrastructure and Regional Development. MP Bakhtadze announced that the regional policy element will henceforth be directly subordinated to Prime Minister, through the Administration of Government.
Sozar Subari, whose appointment as Prime Minister’s adviser on regional development issues was announced earlier, will head this effort. PM Bakhtadze said the change “will ensure the government’s better involvement and [improved] coordination.”
During the same briefing, PM Bakhtadze has announced dismissal of five governors:
- Akaki Machutadze – he was appointed as the governor of Shida Kartli region in March 2018. In 2013-2018, he served as the governor of Samtskhe-Javakheti region;
- Levan Zautashvili – he served as the governor of Mtskheta-Mtianeti region since July 2017;
- Levan Shonia – he served as the governor of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti since 2013;
- Grigol Nemsadze – he was appointed as the governor of Kvemo Kartli region in May 2017;
- Kakha Samkharadze – he served as the governor of Samtskhe-Javakheti region since March 2018. Earlier, he served as the governor of Shida Kartli region.
Georgian media reported on July 26 that Merab Chanukvadze, governor of Guria region, resigned, although PM Bakhtadze said nothing about his dismissal. The post in Imereti region has been vacant since March 2018, when the incumbent resigned to participate in MP by-elections.
Only two governors: of Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti and of Kakheti have retained their positions so far.
PM Bakhtadze said the new governors would facilitate implementation of the “new approaches in terms of regional governance and coordination with the central government.”