Pavle Kublashvili, a senior lawmaker from the ruling party said that direct mayoral elections will only be held in Tbilisi and not in other four other major cities – Kutaisi, Batumi, Rustavi and Poti.
President Saakashvili announced at the UN General Assembly in September that the authorities had “committed to the direct election of all mayors”.
MP Kublashvili, who chairs the parliamentary committee for legal affairs, however, downplayed those remarks by Saakashvili.
“When the initiative about direct election of Tbilisi mayor was first voiced [by the President] in the Parliament [in July] it was clearly stressed that this rule would only apply to the capital city… This pledge was made from the Parliament, in the address to the Georgian society and consequently this promise is being kept,” MP Kublashvili said while speaking at the public TV’s talk show Dialogue with Davit Paichadze.
“I do not think it will be a right course of discussion if someone now starts picking up [remarks] from various speeches [of the President] and based on this starts questioning why there are not direct mayoral elections in other cities,” he said.
“Tbilisi differs from any other city [of Georgia], not only because it is the capital… but with its large population, as well as from the political point view as there is more political pluralism in Tbilisi... So because of that we will have direct mayoral elections in Tbilisi,” MP Kublashvili added.