After spending last two days touring Samegrelo and Imereti regions speaking with locals on government’s new four-year program, President Saakashvili was in Telavi on July 26, a town in Kakheti region hard hit by strong wind and hail last week.
At a meeting with locals in Telavi, Saakashvili pledged that all the houses, damaged by disaster, would be repaired in addition to implementation of number of other infrastructure projects which would turn Telavi into “Georgia’s most exemplary town and its crown”.
When one woman complained to the President that no one had yet started repairing damaged roof of her house, Saakashvili responded that repair works had not been yet launched in third of damaged houses, but vowed that workers would be sent to each and every such house.
“Which government in which country could have managed to [launch repair] of 70% of [damaged] houses within a week, something that we’ve managed to do? This is our government; this is our efficiency; this is our unity and this is new Georgia,” he told locals in Telavi.
Meanwhile PM Vano Merabishvili is also visiting various regions, meeting with locals and also speaking about the government’s four-year program.
Accompanied by healthcare minister, Zurab Tchiaberashvili, PM Merabishvili visited on July 26 a local family in Tetritskaro municipality of Kvemo Kartli region to hand over state-funded basic health insurance policy for children up to six years and for pensioners, which will go into effect starting from this September.
PM Merabishvili said that with this new insurance program from September, number of people with state-funded health insurance policies would increase from 900,000 to 1.9 million; he also said that 500,000 people were holders of non-state health insurance policies, meaning that number of uninsured people would go down to half of the population.
The authorities say that an immediate plan is to provide state-funded basic health insurance to every second citizen. But after leader of opposition Georgian Dream coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili announced about his pledge to fund health insurance “to each and every citizen” in case of coming into power, President Saakashvili said in mid-June that his administration’s eventual goal was to secure “universal health insurance” applying to “every citizen” of the country.
On July 25 PM Merabishvili, accompanied by state minister for employment Paata Trapaidze visited a family in Tbilisi’s suburb announcing about the launch of registration of unemployed citizens. Also on July 25 PM Merabishvili visited a local family in a village in Tianeti municipality and spoke about free livestock vaccination program.
Although the ruling United National Movement (UNM) party has not yet formally announced about the launch of the election campaign, the party’s leading figures, including lawmakers and senior official, are holding campaign meetings with voters for months already. According to election observer organization, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), the UNM representatives held at least 57 such meetings in June; Georgian Dream coalition held 105 campaign meetings; New Rights – 34 and Christian-Democratic Movement – 11 in June.