President Saakashvili said on December 26 that local self-governance bodies in various regions were under pressure and attack from Georgian Dream activists, coordinated by the government and “personally” by PM Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Heads (gamgebeli) of more than dozen of municipalities have been replaced since the parliamentary elections and there have been series of protest rallies in various towns demanding resignation of chairmen of local councils (Sakrebulo) and heads of municipalities. Martvili in Samegrelo region was one of the hotspots, where in late November protesters broke into the building of local municipality administration; the building was blocked for about three weeks by the protesters not allowing officials to enter their offices; police did not intervene. Protests in Martvili resumed this week.
Saakashvili received in the presidential palace head (gamgebeli) of the Martvili municipality Mamuka Danelia and chairman of Martvili local council (Sakrebulo) Zaal Gorozia, who is brother of governor of Samegrelo region Zaza Gorozia. President told them not to resign, adding that local self-government bodies were elected for a four-year term in 2010 elections and should remain in office before the expiration of their terms in 2014.
“Of course situation is completely abnormal,” Saakashvili said. “The Georgian government emits instability and signals of chaos.”
If these developments continue, he said, it “will eventually lead Georgia into provincial dictatorship and trigger chaos and unrests.”
“It will get Georgia backwards by 10-15 years,” Saakashvili said.
He welcomed the statement by Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili about the readiness to establish a parliamentary group to address the issue related to local self-governance bodies.
“If Usupashvili is serious about his intentions to stop this illegality, we are ready to be his partners in this,” Saakashvili said.