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Friday, 21 October 2016


Georgian villages to get power

2013-04-26 14:26

Georgian villages to get power. 29346.jpeg

The Parliament of Georgia intends to reconsider the structure of the Institute of regional self-government, after which district municipalities will receive the status of autonomous districts. The main advantage of this change is considered the fact that the inhabitants of the regions no longer have to wait for a decision on a particular local issue from the President, Prime Minister or departmental ministers. It is expected that the new framework will speed up the solution of regional problems, increase the responsibility of the regional heads and villagers, as well as play a decisive role in the economic development of Georgia.

Basing on the new concept the villages will not only acquire legal status, but also the right to possess certain property: they will be get the pastures and agricultural utensils into perpetual ownership. It is expected that the local people, feeling responsible for the property, will treat it accordingly.

"These people, who have so far been only the ordinary voters, will finally become full citizens, who can make vital decisions within their villages, which is a radical change and a step towards democracy," the heads of the municipalities believe.

The new management model involves the abolition of the governors who were considered the backbone of the "National Movement" during the election period. Gia Zhorzholiani, deputy chairman of the regional committee, does not doubt the validity of the step. "A governor is a representative of the central government, performing its policy. Now we are talking about a new body such, a kind of a council that will perform the administrative executive function independently. Governor in the previous form, of course, will not exist. Today, they are being appointed by the President and actually perform the function of a political commissar or a mouthpiece of propaganda at the local level. Governors will soon be deprived of their today's functions. The system is changing," says Gia Zhorzholiani.

As a result of these changes, the village will become a legal entity that will receive unlimited use of pastures, forest and land. According to this new concept, no one can sell or buy land without the knowledge of local residents, as it often occurred under the previous management structure, when the Chinese, Iranians or Indians suddenly became land owners. The rural councils will also be elected by the villagers.

Local governments will have own budget to solve local problems, such as water supply to villages, removal of residues, roads and clinics construction and much more. This budget will be generated from the taxes on property and income that used to be passed to the central budget.

It is also planned to make some changes in the number of internal territorial units. Perhaps, the 69 municipalities will be divided; the number of self-governing cities will also increase. Elections to local councils will be held every 2 years by direct vote.

One of the authors of the new concept, a member of the parliamentary majority, the deputy chairman of the regional committee Gia Zhorzholiani states that in the country there will be created real self-government bodies. "The election of 2014 will be held already in a new way. But a part of the work will be undertaken before the elections: for example, to establish in the villages so-called public government agencies, public meetings and so on."

But some Georgian experts believe that such changes in self-governing structures contradict the Constitution of Georgia, under which any changes in this area can come into force only after the restoration of the territorial integrity of the country. To which Mr. Zhorzholiani replies:

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