About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Ex-Defense Minister Okruashvili Eyes Gori Mayoral Office
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Mar.'14 / 18:10

Georgia’s former defense minister, Irakli Okruashvili, said he wants to run in mayoral race in the town of Gori in his native Shida Kartli region in the June 15 local elections.

But Okruashvili’s bid to run for mayor’s office will face legal hurdle as he fails to meet two-year residency requirement.

Okruashvili, who was an influential government member in ex-president Saakashvili’s administration before quitting the cabinet in November 2006, was arrested in September, 2007 just two days after launching an opposition party and voicing allegations against his former ally Mikheil Saakashvili. At that time he was charged with large scale extortion; less than two weeks after he was arrested, Okruashvili pleaded guilty, retracted his allegations leveled against Saakashvili and was released on bail; he then left the country in what his supporters said was in fact expulsion. He had lived in France, where he was granted asylum, before returning back to Georgia in November, 2012 after change of government. While remaining in France, Okruashvili re-emerged briefly in Georgia’s political developments in spring 2011 when his party joined ex-parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze-backed street protest rallies but the alliance was short-lived. After he returned back in Georgia some of the charges brought against him by the previous authorities were dropped by the prosecution and he was cleared of some other charges by the court in January, 2013.

Speaking in Imedi TV’s political talk show, Reaction, on March 7 Okruashvili claimed that residency requirement was introduced in the newly adopted amendments to the election code in order to prevent him from running. The two-year residency requirement has been in the election code for a long time already and it was applying to candidates willing to run for Tbilisi mayor’s office (the only city in Georgia where direct election of mayor was in place before the new law on local self-governance was adopted last year); the same provision was kept in respect of candidates willing to run for mayor’s office of eleven other towns, where direct election of mayor will be held in the June 15 elections.

Okruashvili also claimed that there are loopholes in the law, which will allow him to by-pass two-year residency requirement and to run for Gori mayor’s office; he declined to elaborate into details.

He said that for him running for Gori mayor’s office is like competing in third tier of football league, but he still decided to enter mayoral race in order “to show to everyone successful model of governance” on Gori’s example.

“I will win these elections at any cost… If I am allowed to run, I will win in the first round,” Okruashvili said.

He accused local authorities in Gori of misspending and embezzling public funds and claimed that in case of election he would allocate funds from the local budget for increasing pensions for elderly and salaries for teachers in Gori.

Okruashvili also said that if the local residents want, he would re-erect “within ten days after being elected” a huge statue of Stalin in Gori, which was removed in 2010,

“No matter whether someone in Tbilisi likes it or not, if local residents of Gori want this statue back, it should be back,” he said.
 
While serving as defense minister Okruashvili said in May, 2006 that he would resign if Tbilisi failed to restore control over breakaway South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali by January 1, 2007 – he was dismissed from defense minister’s position less than two months before his self-imposed deadline expired.

Asked about the August, 2008 war, Okruashvili said in the interview with Imedi TV that question ‘who started the war’ is irrelevant for him. He said he “cannot understand” those people who blame the Georgian authorities for starting the war. “The main question for me is not who started the war, but why did we ended the war so shamefully. War is our sovereign right; we can go to war on our own territory whenever we deem it necessary,” Okruashvili said.

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2019, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
23