Governors of Shida Kartli and Mtskheta-Mtianeti regions have stepped down, PM’s office said on Thursday without giving reasons behind their decision.
Nugzar Kipiani, who was governor of Mtskheta-Mtianeti region since late 2013, has been replaced by Gocha Zeikidze, who served as a deputy governor of the same region since early 2014.
Zurab Rusishvili, who served as governor of Shida Kartli region since late 2013, also resigned on March 10. One of the deputies will be an acting governor, according to PM’s office.
Unlike heads (gamgebeli) of municipalities, who are directly elected since 2014, provincial governors are appointed by prime minister. These two resignations are the first among governors since Giorgi Kvirikashvili became the PM in late December.
UNM opposition party has previously called on the PM to replace governor of Guria region, Gia Salukvadze, as before taking office he was linked to orginizing series of controversial screenings of a video clip, “Saakashvili’s Bloody Regime”, in various parts of the country. Events sparked outcry after it emerged that public school pupils in some towns in western Georgia were taken in an organized way to attend the screenings of the video showing graphic images, among them of inhuman treatment of inmates. During his confirmation hearing as PM in the Parliament, Kvirikashvili said he was not aware of details of this issue and would look into it; he, however, has not reacted on the matter since then.