Number of local councils, Sakrebulos, to be elected in the June 15 local elections will be increased from 64 to 71 as a result of splitting up seven municipalities.
The change, endorsed by the Parliament on April 4, is a result of a new self-governance law, adopted in February, which granted “self-governed” status to seven more towns – Telavi, Mtskheta, Gori, Akhaltsikhe, Ambrolauri, Ozurgeti and Zugdidi. Other “self-governed” cities are Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Rustavi, Batumi and Poti.
Those new “self-governed” towns previously were forming municipalities together with their surrounding villages. But as a result of their new status, these towns will be separated from those municipalities. For example Zugdidi municipality was made up of town of Zugdidi and up to thirty villages. With this change those thirty villages will form a municipality separate from the town of Zugdidi with its own Sakrebulo; the town of Zugdidi will also have its Sakrebulo.
Along with Sakrebulos, voters in twelve “self-governed” cities will also elect mayors and voters in municipalities will elect gamgebelis (head of municipality) in the June 15 local elections.
Authority of five Sakrebulos, which were elected in 2006, will again be prolonged like it once already happened in 2010 without elections; these are those five councils, which before the August, 2008 were located in the Georgian-controlled areas of breakaway Abkhazia (in Kodori gorge) and South Ossetia (Eredvi, Tigvi, Kurta and Akhalgori).