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International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy


Monitoring of the Developments in Local Self-Government Agencies following the October 1,

2012 Parliamentary Elections
First Report
December 21, 2012

Publishing the report was made possible through the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia as well as the US Agency for International
Development (USAID) and with the financial support of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The views expressed in the report belong solely to
the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands to
Georgia, NDI, USAID or United States Government

After the coalition Georgian Dream won the October 1, 2012 parliamentary elections in Georgia,
former opposition force gained parliamentary majority. The Prime Minister and the members of the
Government were nominated by the new ruling power. Although changes in the central authorities
should not have affected local self-governments, the process of replacing municipal officials
(Gamgebelis1, Mayors, and Sakrebulo Chairpersons) ensued in various municipalities throughout
the country right after the elections. Former officials who represented the United National
Movement (UNM) were massively replaced by representatives of the Georgian Dream. In individual
cases new municipal officials demanded resignation of staff of self-governments and heads of
territorial agencies. ISFED also observed a case of a politically motivated dismissal following the
elections in Tbilisi City Hall (for sympathizing with the Georgian Dream).
Changes in the local self-governments mostly occurred in the midst of protest rallies. In particular,
local population and mostly local supporters and activists of the Georgian Dream, started staging
protest rallies demanding resignation of municipal officials. Decisions of Sakrebulos to appoint
representatives of the UNM to vacant positions of Gamgebeli were frequently followed by protest
rallies. Participants generally demanded replacement of acting or newly appointed Gamgebelis and
Sakrebulo Chairpersons with local activists and supporters of the Georgian Dream. Frequently
protesters resorted to radical measures going on a hunger strike. Regrettably, rallies often turned
illegal by expression of physical violence, invasion of buildings, disruption of meetings and
blocking offices of Gamgeoba. Sometimes the authorities failed to take timely and effective
measures in response.
ISFED was monitoring the developments following the parliamentary elections in all municipalities.
It condemned a number of times the acts of illegal pressure against self-governments2, calling for
investigation and prosecution of these facts.

Monitoring Methodology
ISFED is carrying out the monitoring of local self-governments in all 69 municipalities. It mostly
draws on its own regional and district coordinators dislocated throughout all municipalities as
sources of information. ISFED also draws on media reports about ongoing developments, verified
by its own representatives at the local level.
This report offers a description of the developments in municipalities arranged in a chronological

Head of the executive branch of local selg-governmant;

Key Findings of the Monitoring

Following the October 1, 2012 elections to present, 3 total of 31 Gamgebelis have resigned, including
29 at their own free will and two at the will of Sakrebulo. During the very same period, 16
chairpersons of Sakrebulo resigned, including 14 at their own will and two at the will of Sakrebulo.
In most of the cases Gamgebelis and Sakrebulo chairpersons resigned at their own free will, often
citing health problems and family commitments in their letters of resignation as the reason. In a
number of cases former officials openly clarified that their decision to resign was motivated by
recent changes in the central authorities. They also stated that the decision served the purpose of
preventing escalation of the situation, as frequently their voluntary resignations were preceded by
protest rallies staged by the Georgian Dream supporters. Only in individual cases are former
municipal officials willing to openly and publicly discuss the pressure they had been subjected to. 4
In certain cases Gamgebelis resigned based on Sakrebulos decisions. Even though the UNM holds
majority in most Sakrebulos, new Gamgebelis and Sakrebulo Chairpersons elected by them are local
representatives and supporters of the Georgian Dream, which raises legitimate questions about
whether these decisions have been made under pressure.
Frequently these changes have been caused by the fact that following the parliamentary elections
representatives of former ruling party left majority factions in Sakrebulos to establish new factions
that frequently became supporters of the Georgian Dream. It was due to these changes that the UNM
no longer has a majority holding in Sakrebulos of Sachkhere, Dmanisi, Akhaltsikhe.
Notably, Gamgebelis were appointed in an expedited manner, which often engendered staging of
protest rallies.
Protest rallies targeting local self-governments mostly voiced demands for resignation of
Gamgebelis and Sakrebulo Chairpersons. Participants included activists and supporters of the
Georgian Dream in addition to the local population. Similar rallies were staged in 16 municipalities,
including 11 5 rallies where protest turned illegal by expression of physical violence, invasion of
buildings, disruption of meetings and blocking buildings.
After resignation of Gamgebelis, employees of Gamgeoba in 7 municipalities 6 were forced to
submit letters of resignation; however, most of them continue to work as usual. Structural
reorganization and excessive number of employees were frequently cited as reasons. Notably, new
Gamgebelis were mostly replaced by their deputies and heads of departments. All representatives of
territorial agencies in Kaspi, Dedoplistskaro and Sachkhere were replaced.
Further, following the elections criminal proceedings were instituted against 2 Gamgebelis 7 and 2
Sakrebulo Chairpersons8.

December 21, 2012;

These officials include Poti Sakrebulo Chairperson, Tsalka Gamgebeli, Dmanisi Sakrebulo Chairperson;
In particular, such incidents have been reported in the following municipalities and self-governing cities: Marneuli,
Samtredia, Tetritskaro, Tsalka, Martvili, Gurjaani, Kobuleti, Batumi, Poti;
These facts have been reported in Telavi, Akhmeta, Dedoplitskaro, Sachkhere, Kaspi, Kareli and Zestaponi
Gamgebelis of Zestaponi and Kharagauli;

Legal Base
Under Article 2 of the Constitution of Georgia, citizens of Georgia regulate issues of local
importance by means of local self-governments. 9
Under the Organic Law of Georgia on Local Self Government, Sakrebulo is a representative body
of a self-government unit, whereas realization of decisions of Sakrebulo is ensured by Gamgeoba
(and City Hall in the following five self-governing cities of Rustavi, Poti, Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi).

Chairperson of Sakrebulo is head of a self-governing unit and Sakrebulo. Chairperson of

Sakrebulo and his/her deputy (in cases of self-governing cities two deputies) as well as
chairpersons of commissions and factions are elected by Sakrebulo from its members for the
Sakrebulo term of office. Any member of Sakrebulo is entitled to nominate a candidate for the
position of Sakrebulo Chairperson.
Sakrebulo may remove the Chairman. No less than 1/3 of the total number of the Sakrebulo
members may raise the issue of the removal of the Chairman in written. The Chairman will be
considered removed if more than half of the Sakrebulo listed members vote for his/her removal.
Gamgeoba (City Hall) enforces decisions of Sakrebulo. Gamgebeli (Mayor) manages the work of
of Gamgeoba (City Hall).
Gamgebeli (Mayor) is a public servant of a local self-government.11 Gamgebeli of Municipality
and a City Mayor (except Tbilisi Mayor) 12 are appointed by the Chairperson and approved by
Sakrebulo. Sakrebulo approves appointee by supporting him/her with more than half the votes of
Sakrebulo listed members.
Sakrebulo Chairperson has the right to dismiss Gamgebeli (Mayor), with Sakrebulos approval if
his/her work was deemed as inadequate by Sakrebulo or when conditions envisaged by Chapter 10
of the Law on Public Service are evident.
Head of a territorial unit a representative or head of a structural unit - are appointed and dismissed
by Gamgebeli (Mayor). They have to go through a competition for appointment.

Chairpersons of Khoni and Vani Sakrebulos;

Citizens of Georgia registered in a self-government unit regulate issues of local importance through local selfgovernment, without curtailing the state sovereignty and as prescribed by the Georgian legislation. State authorities
promote the development of local self-government;
Article 19 of the Law of Georgia on Local Self-Government;
A citizen of Georgia who has already attained 18 years of age, has higher education and is fluent in the state language
may serve as a municipal public officer;
Tbilisi Mayor is elected directly by citizens of Georgia registered in Tbilisi;

Detailed findings of monitoring of the developments in municipalities following the

Marneuli on October 5, 2012, activists of the Georgian Dream invaded the building of Marneuli
Gamgeoba and demanded the municipality employees vacate their offices. They abused employees
of Gamgeoba verbally and physically, and assaulted the Deputy Gamgebeli and his driver.
Gamgebeli was also injured during the incident and was transported to the local hospital together
with five other employees by an ambulance.
Proxies of the Georgian Dream stated that they represented the winning party, demanding
employees of Gamgeoba to leave the building, - stated Gamgebeli. Police officers were able to
diffuse the tensions.
On December 18 up to 60 supporters of the Georgian Dream staged a protest rally outside Marneuli
Gamgeoba, demanding appointment of Paata Abramishvili, member of the Georgian Dream, as
Marneuli Gamgebeli. They were saying that if the incumbent Zaza Dekaniodze was going to leave
the office, Paata Abramishvili was to be appointed. Notably, members of the Georgian Dream are
also pushing for other candidates for the position of Marneuli Gamgebeli Burnadze and
Kobuleti shortly after the October 1 elections, Chairperson of Sakrebulo resigned by submitting
the letter of resignation; appointment of Elguja Bagrationi (UNM) as a new chairperson ensued. As
former Gamgebeli of Kobuleti, Gela Tskhomelidze participated in parliamentary elections, his
deputy was appointed acting Gamgebeli. At the October 5 meeting of Kobuleti Sakrebulo, Tengiz
Zoidze was elected to the position of Kobuleti Gamgebeli by majority of votes.
On December 17, activists of the Georgian Dream staged a protest rally outside Kobuleti
Gamgeoba, demanding resignation of Gamgebeli Tengiz Zoidze, Sakrebulo Chairperson Elguja
Bagrationi and other representatives of the UNM. Hundreds of participants invaded the building.
Activists said that members of the Georgian Dream had to occupy offices in the self-government;
otherwise, they planned to continue protesting.
Oni Paata Maisuradze served as Oni Gamgebeli prior to the October 1 elections. He used to
serve at the internal forces of Georgia, which he went back to following the elections. In early
November former chief of Oni police, Koba Gamkrelidze was appointed as Oni Gamgebeli.
Sakrebulo Chairperson explained that the only application filed for the vacant position of Gamgebeli
was by Koba Gamkrelidze and therefore, Sakrebulo considered only his candidacy and decided in
his favor. Irma Makarashvili was the only member of the Gerogian Dream who voted against
Borjomi after Gamgebeli Vakhtang Maisuradze submitted a resignation letter for personal
reasons, two of his deputies Grigol Jvaridze and Piran Gogichashvili resigned amid political
changes. Third deputy Elizbar Stepnadze continues to work.
On October 25, Member of Sakrebulo from Republican Party Davit Kamkamidze was appointed
acting Gamgebeli of Borjomi Municipality. Prior to the elections, Kamkamidze was serving as head
of the office of the Georgian Dream in Borjomi. Representatives of the Georgian Dream were
appointed to the positions of first and second deputies of Borjomi Municipality Gamgebeli, head of
the department of culture, sports, monuments protection and youth affairs, head of the union of pre5

school education institutions and Borjomi Representative. Head of Gamgeoba Office Murad
Nozadze, Head of the Cultural Department Maia Guliashvili and Head of the Social Affairs
Department Nino Chkhetia submitting letters of resignation for personal reasons.
Kutaisi following the parliamentary elections, position of Kutaisi Mayor was vacant. Election of a
new Mayor at Sakrebulo meeting was highly controversial as opposition parties maintained that
competition had not been announced. Member of Sakrebulo Mamuka Mgvdeladze (New Rights)
confronted members of the UNM, while members of Sakrebulo from Christian Democratic Party
protested by leaving the meeting. Nevertheless, Besik Bregadze was elected as the new Mayor.
During an extraordinary meeting of Sakrebulo on November 14, members from the UNM motioned
for removal of Sakrebulo Chairperson and his deputies from office without supporting the motion.
Members of Sakrebulo from opposition parties were going to motion for removal of the Chairperson
but majority members managed to do it earlier and thus secured the office for the Chairperson for
three more months, as under the law on local self-government, a motion for removal of the
Chairperson can be raised after no earlier than three months.
Following the elections two members of Sakrebulo left the faction UNM in Kutaisi Sakrebulo and
formed a new faction Kutaisi together with former representatives of the New Rights. Later on, five
more members left the UNM but they maintain the status of an independent MP.
Samtredia On October 23, Gamgebeli of Samtredia Koba Kandelaki resigned and Sakrebulo
meeting was scheduled the following day in an expedited manner. Despite much turmoil and protest
on the end of Sakrebulos members from opposition parties and activists, former majoritarian MP
from UNM Avtandil Sturua was elected to the vacant office. Representatives and supporters of the
Georgian Dream invaded the municipality building, demanding resignation of Gamgebeli. They
were protesting by blocking the buildings of Gamgeoba and Sakrebulo for a week. They set up a
corridor of shame for Sturua.
In November 2012 member of Sakrebulo Koba Dzidziguri filed a 27-point lawsuit in court claiming
that Sakrebulo Chairperson and Gamgebeli had been elected illegally. The trial was held on
November 15 where Avtandil Sturua was questioned but the proceedings were postponed. On
December 11, district court suspended authority of Avtandil Sturua in his capacity as Gamgebeli.
Avtandil Tadumadze is now serving as acting Gamgebeli.
Kharagauli in late October, Gamgebeli of Municipality Tornike Avalishvili submitted a
resignation letter. There was a commission set up at Sakrebulo for admission of applications for the
vacant position of Gamgebeli.
Notably, newly elected majoritarian MP of Kharagauli Nodar Ebanioidze filed against Gamgebeli in
the office of the prosecutor, demanding determination of lawfulness of spending of GEL 15 000
transferred by Avalishvili from Kharagauli Budget for rehabilitation of official vehicles damaged
during a car crash.
Sachkhere since late September the office of Municipality Gamgebeli had been vacant as
incumbent Zurab Tsertsvadze was running in parliamentary elections. During September 28
meeting of Sakrebulo, representative of the Georgian Dream Ivane Goshadze was elected as
Gamgebeli with majority of votes.

On October 30, twelve out of the thirteen community representatives submitted letters of
resignation. According to them, representatives of the Coalition were saying that the new power had
arrived and therefore, new representatives had to be appointed. The only community representative
that was not affected by the changes was Sairkhi community representative who, according to other
community representatives, enjoys close relations with the coalition.
At the November 15 Sakrebulo meeting twelve out of the twenty-two members of Sakrebulo voted
for removal of Sakrebulo Chairperson Nodar Abzhandadze. The motion had been raised in
Sakrebulo by supporters of the coalition Georgian Dream. Nodar Abzhandadze was accused of
abusing the municipal budget. Abzhandadze himself has rejected the allegations, stating that his
removal is politically motivated. Eight members of Sakrebulo from the UNM did not participate in
the voting. The UNM lost majority in Sakrebulo composed of 22 members after they lost nine
members to the minority. Representative of the Republican Party Inga Zambakhidze assumed the
position of Sakrebulo Gamgebeli.
Akhmeta in late October Chairperson of Sakrebulo Municipality Aleksi Mailashvili resigned due
to political changes. Similarly, Gamgebeli Koba Maisuradze submitted a letter of resignation.
At the November 7 meeting of Sakrebulo, member of the Georgian Dream Zakaria Kinkladze
assumed the position of the Chairperson. Members of Sakrebulo removed Jarap Khangoshvili from
the position of Deputy Gamgebeli and replaced him with former chairperson of Sakrebulo Aleksi
Mailashvili. On November 19, Beka Baidauri was appointed acting Gamgebeli effective before
announcement of competition. His candidacy was recommended by majoritarian MP Zurab
Zviadauri attending the meeting.
Following his appointment as acting Gamgebeli, a 25-year old Beka Baidauri demanded that all
employees of Gamgebeli submit letters of resignation, explaining that changes in staff had to do
with structural reorganization, and that employees could maintain their positions after passing
Poti on August 3 Mayor of Poti Vakhtang Lemonjava resigned as he was running in
parliamentary elections. Sakrebulo did not announce a competition for filling the vacant position.
On October 31 activists of the Georgian Dream staged a protest rally outside Poti City Hall,
demanding appointment of the Georgian Dreams candidate as Mayor. Amid the protest,
Majoritarian MP of Poti Eka Beselia met with Sakrebulo Chairperson and members, saying that
Sakrebulo should make a decision in consideration of peoples will and that it should announce a
competition to allow everyone to participate. 13 Chairperson of Poti Sakrebulo Vano Saghinadze
said that the protest rally outside the administrative offices constituted a pressure against Sakrebulo.
Eventually, on November 7 Sakrebulo extended the term of authority for Davit Khomeriki, Acting
Mayor of Poti, for one more year. The ordinance has been appealed in court.
On December 6, Chairperson of Poti Sakrebulo Ivane Saghinadze resigned from his office. He
stated that he had made the decision himself, in view of the new reality. He also explained that he
had not been subjected to any pressure and remains to be a member of Poti Sakrebulo.

On December 17, supporters of the Georgian Dream invaded the building of Poti Sakrebulo and
disrupted the meeting convened to elect the chairperson. Majority of Sakrebulo was planning to
approve the candidacy of the UNMs member, Davit Babilua for the position of the chairperson,
which intimidated supporters of the Georgian Dream. Following a verbal confrontation and a clash,
the meeting was postponed. Part of the population refused to leave the building, fearing that the
meeting would be covertly held. According to the acting chairperson, activists of the Georgian
Dream exerted pressure against them and they had to call the police.
During the December 18 meeting, majority of members in Poti Sakrebulo supported the candidacy
of Davit Babilua for the position of the chairperson. Representative of the Georgian Dream Mogeli
Tkebuchava did not participate in the voting. He accused members of Sakrebulo of committing a
violation and left the meeting. During the very same meeting, member of Poti Sakrebulo and former
candidate for the position of majoritarian members of Sakrebulo, Tengiz Sarishvili announced that
he was leaving the UNM, planning to establish a new faction called Majoritarians, together with
four other majoritarian members of Sakrebulo.
Zestaponi on November 1, Gamgebeli of Zestaponi Givi Arabidze submitted a letter of
resignation. Sakrebulo meeting was convened on November 2 in expedited manner and the office
was assumed by former majoritarian member Kakha Getsadze from the UNM. The very same day,
local population assembled outside the offices of Gamgeoba and demanded access to Sakrebulo
meeting. They were particularly intimidated by the arrival of MP Akaki Minashvili in Sakrebulo,
who sat next to the Chairperson, Merab Maskharashvili. A break was announced due to the verbal
confrontation. After the meeting was resumed Sakrebulo Chairperson put candidacy of Kakha
Getsadze for the position of Gamgebeli to vote in expedited manner and approved his candidacy
with majority of votes.
According to employees of office of correspondence at Zestaponi Gamgeoba, they submitted letters
of resignation following the parliamentary elections at their own free will; however, no one has yet
been dismissed but rather, they continue to work as usual.
On November 29, Zestaponi Gamgebeli Kakha Getsadze was arrested by the office of the
prosecutor. He was charged under para.3 of Article 239, para.3 of Article 118 and para.1 of Article
187 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. Investigation was launched into alleged hooliganism
committed with the use of a firearm, inflicting less severe intentional damage to health and
damaging another persons property. Kutaisi City Court ordered GEL 20 000 in bail as a
preventive measure.
Deputy Gamgebeli Amiran Kvetenadze was serving as an acting Gamgebeli of Zestaponi. Starting
from December 11, responsibilities of acting Gamgebeli were assumed by member of the Georgian
Dream Nugzar Kamushadze.
Tetritskaro Zurab Tsiklauri, member of Sakrebulo from the UNM was elected as a new
governor of Tetritskaro on November 2. The position became vacant after former Gamgebeli Giorgi
Daushvili was appointed to the office of Bolnisi Municipality Gamgebeli in July.
On November 12 around fifty activists of the Georgian Dream assembled outside the municipality
building for picketing. Participants demanded resignation of Sakrebulo Chairperson Gia
Mestvirishvili and Gamgebeli Zurab Tsiklauri, accusing them of election and financial frauds.

According to Gia Mestvirishvili, it had been a week after appointment of a new Gamgebeli based on
competition; however, they were demanding resignation of all twenty village Gamgebelis.
Picketing stopped only in the second half of the day. The following representatives of parliamentary
minority Pavle Kublashvili, Goga Khachidze, Irma Nadirashvili and David Bezhuashvili arrived in
the district but were not let in the building by protesters. There was a verbal confrontation and a
clash between minority leaders and party activists. Gamgeoba could resume is work only after the
police managed to free the building from picketers.
Khoni Deputy Chairperson of Sakrebulo, Rezo Partskhaladze left the UNM on November 5,
citing recent developments as the reason.
Official authority of Sakrebulo Chairperson Giorgi Gelenidze has been suspended. On November
28 Kutaisi City Court ordered him to pay GEL 7 000 in bail. He has been charged with abuse of
official authority and state funds.
On November 30, an extraordinary meeting of Sakrebulo was convened in relation to suspension of
Giorgi Gelenidzes official authority. Before the start of the meeting there were reports that the
meeting had been scheduled to elect new Chairperson. Therefore, activists of the Georgian Dream
assembled outside the building of Sakrebulo, demanding postponement of the meeting. Peaceful
assembly grew into a confrontation. Sakrebulo employees and members got involved in the clash.
Currently Rezo Partskhaladze is serving as an acting chairperson of Sakrebulo.
Sagarejo former Chairperson Gela Chalatashvili was running in parliamentary elections for the
position of majoritarian MP and therefore, he submited a resignation letter. On November 5,
candidate nominated by the Georgian Dream Giorgi Loladze assumed the responsibilities of
Telavi On November 7 municipality Gamgebeli Nugzar Khutsaidze submitted a letter of
resignation, citing transfer of power in the government as the reason. Zurab Kurashvili, head of the
Georgian Dreams office in Telavi Office was appointed acting Gamgebeli on November 9,
effective before announcement of the competition. He demanded that all employees of Gamgeoba
submit resignation letters, without dating the letters. According to Kurashvili, Gamgeoba has an
excessive number of employees and therefore, he plans reductions in staff. According to the Head of
Gamgeoba Office Medea Kekelia, changes in staff are anticipated amid the ongoing reorganization
in Gamgeoba. As of now, employees continue to work as usual.
Akhaltsikhe Chairperson of Sakrebulo Malkhaz Gikoshvili resigned in November by submitting
a letter of resignation; however, he remains to be the member of Sakrebulo. On November 9,
member of the newly established faction Georgian Dream Akhaltsikhe, Oleg Sandroshvili was
elected as Sakrebulo Chairperson. Currently, the faction holds majority in Sakrebulo.
On November 22, Gamgebeli of Akhaltsikhe Municipality Gela Demetradze resigned. According to
Sakrebulo Chairperson Oleg Sandroshvili, Gamgebeli had decided to resign due to difference of
At the December 7 meeting, Besik Khitarishvili was appointed acting Governor for the period of
three months. His candidacy was supported in secret ballot by sixteen out of twenty-four members
of Sakrebulo (Khitarishvili used to serve as head of the second division of the Ministry of Internal

Affairs operative and technical department in 2004-2008. In 2008-2009 he served as an invited

expert in legal issues in public defenders office).
Acting Gamgebeli of Akhaltsikhe Municipality Besik Khitarishvili announced that he had plans to
form a fusion administration. On December 12 he nominated three deputies, Avtandil Teliashvili,
Zaza Khutsishvili and Tamar Gogoladze. According to Gamgeoba former deputies had resigned
after submitting personal letters of resignation.
Tsalka on November 13 representatives of the Georgian Dream and part of the population staged
a protest rally outside the building of Tsalka Municipality, demanding resignation of Gamgebeli.
They had blocked the entrance. In addition to resignation of Gamgebeli Mikheil Tskitishvili,
protesters also demanded resignation of all of Gamgeoba staff. One of the activists of the Georgian
Dream who was intoxicated invaded the building, followed by other activits; however, they soon left
the bulding. Amiran Saginadze, who had left the UNM for the Georgian Dream, joined the rally
participants. Zurab Iakobidze and Mikheil Jakeli also submitted notices about leaving the faction.
The rally demanding resignation of Gamgebeli in Tsalka continued for almost a week.
On December 3-4, local population in Tsalka resumed protest rallies, demanding verification of
financial documents and personal property of Gamgebeli. They were accusing Gamgebeli of taking
illegal ownership of 1500 hectares of land and misspending funds. Tskitishvili rejected the
allegations and accused the authorities of exerting a pressure against self-government units. He also
said that he would not object to financial verification; however, it was impossible for him to
continue serving as Gamgebeli amid permanent protest rallies and pressure.
On December 6, due to the tense situation in the district Municipality Gamgebeli Mikheil
Tskitishvili submitted a letter of resignation to Sakrebulo. Otar Khutaishvili has been appointed
acting Gamgebeli.
On December 7, based on the verdict of Rustavi City Court, financial police launched inspection of
Tsalka Municipality. Sakrebulo Chairperson explained that they requested all documents about
infrastructural works carried out from 2004 to 2012.
On December 14, supporters and activists of the Georgian Dream staged a protest rally outside
Sakrebulo demanding resignation of Sakrebulo Chairperson Davit Machitidze. Later, participants
invaded the building. According to Sakrebulo Chairperson Davit Machitidze, he will not resign until
the Ministry of Finances investigating service completes its financial monitoring in Tsalka
Municipality. The meeting also addressed and approved establishment of new factions - the
Georgian Dream and Chveni Tsalka.
Batumi on November 19 a new faction Majoritarian - was established in Batumi Sakrebulo. The
faction consists of three members of Sakrebulo. On November 22 three other members left the
UNMs faction in Batumi Sakrebulo and now continue to work as independent members.
Following the elections Acting Mayor of Batumi, Vice Mayor Jemal Ananidze was elected by
Sakrebulo as Batumi Mayor.
On December 1, head of the information center for combating of corruption in Georgia, Merab
Gogoberidze invaded the building of Sakrebulo with a withered rose in his hand. The verh same day

he started a hunger strike with other fellow sympathizers of the Georgian Dream. They stopped the
hunger strike on December 5 upon request of the clergy.
Meeting of Batumi Sakrebulo on December 18 was rather noisy. Chairperson of faction For Batumi
Irakli Chavleishvili demanded that initiatives aimed at increasing number of employees be removed
from the agenda. One of the issues that members of Sakrebulo did not endorse was establishment of
a tourism agency in Batumi City Hall. According to Chavleishvili, by setting up new offices in the
City Hall the UNM was going to provide employment opportunities for their members.
Chiatura Gamgebeli of Chiatura, Gogi Chikviladze was running in the parliamentary elections.
Zurab Ketiladze assumed responsibilities of acting governor. On November 20, Municipality
Sakrebulo nominated Sulkhan Makhatadze, a representative of the coalition Georgian Dream for
the position of Gamgebeli. Twenty-five members of Sakrebulo unanimously supported Sulkhan
Makhatadze. There were no other staff changes in Sakrebulo; however, in light of the political
changes, population of the village is seeking to replace their respective community trustees.
Tskaltubo on November 21, a petition signed by eleven citizens was filed in Tskaltubo Sakrebulo,
requesting holding of an extraordinary meeting and resignation of Sakrebulo Chairperson Mamuka
Saghareishvili. The opposition protested November 22 extraordinary meeting. It was attended by
Sakrebulo Members from the UNM only. Despite the lack of quorum, term of office of Sakrebulo
Chairperson was extended for three more months.
After the Georgian Dream won the elections, former members of the UNM in Tskaltubo Sakrebulo
established several factions. The newly established factions are as follows: Sazogadoeba
Tskaltuboeli, Georgian Dream Tskaltubo, Tskaltuboeli and Imedi. Members of the latter view
themselves as not affiliated to any political group. Tskaltubo Sakrebulo has 25 members with
majority held by the UNM.
Lentekhi on November 21 Lentekhi Gamgebeli Roman Mukbaniani submitted a resignation
letter, explaining that he did not want to cause any inconvenience for the newly elected parliament
and the new government. Therefore, he thought that it was only logical for him to resign. After
leaving his office, Mukbaniani remained to be the chairperson of the UNMs office in Lentekhi. The
following day representative of the Republican Party Soso Mukbaniani was elected as Gamgebeli.
On November 26 local population protested appointment of new Gamgebeli, as competition had not
been announced. They were also protesting against the candidacy of the Gamgebeli himself. They
stopped rallying soon and Gamgeoba continues to work as usual.
Tsageri Gamgebeli Bezhan Ghurchumelidze submitted a letter of resignation following the
elections. On November 22, Tsageri Sakrebulo appointed Mamuka Chachkiani, member of the
Georgian Dream and a former candidate for the position of majoritarian member of Sakrebulo to the
position of acting governor. The candidacy was not supported by faction Georgian Dream
Republicans and Deputy Chairperson of Sakrebulo Bela Saghinadze. According to her, nomination
of Mamuka Chachkiani had not been coordinated with member parties of the coalition and therefore,
his appointment as Gamgebeli was unacceptable to her. As to Sakrebulo, vacant position of
Chairperson was occupied by Bela Saghinadze from the Republican Party.
Martvili on November 26, local population and members of the Georgian Dream assembled
outside offices of Martvili self-government, demanding resignation of Gamgebeli Mamuka Danelia

and Sakrebulo Chairperson Zaal Gorozia. Later participants invaded the building of Gamgeoba,
which paralyzed Gamgeoba and resulted in damage of some of the equipment. The first floor
windows were shattered and Gamgebelis chair was thrown by protesters out of the window.
Participant left the building only after the police interfered. Hunger strikers continued to protest.
Although they have terminated the hunger strike, the office remains paralyzed and negotiations have
been unsuccessful.
On December 19, almost a month-long picketing outside Gamgeoba of Martvili District was
finished. Rally organizers and local authorities could reach an agreement following negotiations. As
a result, local authorities continue their daily work.
Kaspi on November 26, Gamgebeli of Kaspi Municipality Sakrebulo Kakha Khachirashvili was
removed from office. One of the leaders of the Georgian Dreams local office, Oleg Iadze was
appointed acting Gamgebeli. According to Khachirashvili, he had no intention to resign willingly.
Replacement of Gamgebeli was followed by replacement of heads of all departments as well as
village trustees. According to Oleg Iadze, around 40% of employees will have to leave their work.
On December 9, following appointment of Soso Shughliashvili as a representative of territorial unit
by Oleg Iadze a dispute ensued. Activists of the Georgian Dream from Kvemo Chala were pushing
for another candidacy, Tinatin Gakheladze. The confrontation of fellow villagers continued for
about half an hour.
UNM members are holding majority in Sakrebulo, whereas opposition is represented by the only
member, Khatuna Tatanashvili. Davit Mesropashvili, member of the UNM, remains to be the
Sakrebulo Chairperson.
Lagodekhi former chairperson of Sakrebulo, Giorgi Gozalishvili became majoritarian MP of
Lagodekhi. Currently, member of the UNM Davit Bakashvili is serving as the chairperson. He used
to be a deputy chairperson before.
At the meeting of Sakrebulo held on November 26, letter of resignation submitted by Lagodekhi
Municipality Gamgebeli Dimitry Loladze was granted. Ioseb Tkemaladze, Second Deputy
Gamgebeli, is now the acting governor.
The deadline for submission of applications for the position of Gamgebeli was December 7. There
were total of 126 applicants. On December 20 a meeting of the competition and certification
commission was held in Lagodekhi Sakrebulo. At the meeting 7 shortlisted candidates testified
before the commission. Eventually, the commission will present one candidate to Sakrebulo for its
Sighnaghi following the elections, on November 26, Sakrebulo Chairperson Zaza Zedelashvili
resigned by submitting personal letter of resignation, citing family commitments as the reason.
Newly elected chairperson is Zaza Mchedlishvili, member of Sakrebulo from the UNM.
On November 30, Gamgebeli of Sighnaghi Municipality Vazha Jankarashvili resigned for
personal reasons. He is a member of the UNM and had been appointed to the position a month
before. Ramaz Popiashvili was elected as the new Gamgebeli. Although Sakrebulo had not
announced a competition for the vacant position of Gamgebeli, Ramaz Popiashvili submitted an

application anyways and his candidacy was supported. The new Gamgebeli appointed activists of
the Georgian Dreams election campaign.
Ozurgeti on November 17, new faction Dream was established in Ozurgeti Sakrebulo, composed
of three members who were formerly the members of the UNM.
On December 3, Acting Gamgebeli submitted a letter of resignation. At the meeting of Sakrebulo
held on December 6, one of the leaders of the Georgian Dream Kote Sharashenidze was elected as
Dedoplistskaro Municipality Gamgebeli Nikoloz Shanshiashvili and Sakrebulo Chairperson
Levan Baghashvili resigned for personal reasons. Resignation letters were also submitted by their
deputies and the Head of Gamgeoba Office.
At the November 27 meeting Sakrebulo elected Levan Natroshvili (UNM) as Chairperson. On
November 28 Irakli Shiloashvili was elected as Gamgebeli by Sakrebulo. He is not affiliated with
any of the parties. Sakrebulo meeting was attended by 22 members and his candidacy was
unanimously supported. Representatives of the Georgian Dream were appointed to the positions of
deputy Gamgebeli and head of the office of Gamgeoba. 14 trustees of territorial units of
Dedoplistskaro Municipality submitted letters of resignation. Part of the employees decline to
comment, while rest of them states that they had been forced to write the resignation letters.
Chkhorotsku on November 28, Chairperson of Chkhorotsku Sakrebulo Gia Lemonjava (UNM)
submitted a letter of resignation, citing the existing situation in other regions as the reason. He
explained that he resigned to prevent escalation of the situation in municipalities.
During an extraordinary session of Sakrebulo convened on December 4, member of the coalition
Georgian Dream Besik Esebua was elected as a new chairperson. At the very same meeting,
Gamgebeli Merab Shelia submitted a letter of resignation, stating that he had made the decision in
light of the political circumstances, for personal reasons. His decision also had to do with
appointment of a new Sakrebulo Chairperson.
At an extraordinary session of Sakrebulo on December 11, member of the coalition Georgian Dream
Dato Gogua was appointed acting Gamgebeli, Korneli Tsurtsumia was appointed Deputy
Gamgebeli. Chkhorotsku Sakrebulo is made up of 23 members. One of its three factions is the UNM
composed of 8 members.
Gori on November 30 Gori Municipality Sakrebulo accepted resignation letter of Gamgebeli
Davit Khmiadashvili. At the very same meeting, members of Sakrebulo elected Papuna
Koberidze, the candidate nominated by the Georgian Dream with majority of votes. According to
Sakrebulo Chairperson Zviad Khmaladze, there were only two candidates nominated for the position
of Gamgebeli. Papuna Koberidze appointed Davit Gudavadze, Zaza Aduashvili and Nino
Tsivtsivadze as new deputies.
Gurjaani Gurjaani Sakrebulo Chairperson Zakaria Iaganashvili and Municipality Gamgebeli
Davit Meskhishvili submitted resignation letters at their own free will. During the very same period
10 members of Sakrebulo left for the faction Georgian Dream.


Resignation of Gamgebeli was followed by periodic protest ralies in Gurjaani. Participants protested
against procedures for election of Gamgebeli and candidates for the position. There were total of
eight applications submitted for the opening.
On December 6, activists of the Georgian Dream and supporters of the candidate for the office of
Gamgebeli, Misha Purtseladze, invaded the office of Acting Sakrebulo Chairperson. They were
demanding setting up of a special commission for selecting a candidate as well as appointment of
Misha Purtseladze as Gamgebeli. The December 7 meeting of Sakrebulo convened to elect
Sakrebulo Chairperson and Acting Governor was invaded by supporters of the Georgian Dream.
Following a noise and verbal confrontation, the situation escalated to the extent that Sakrebulo had
to terminate the meeting.
At the December 10 meeting member of the faction Georgian Dream Republicans, Avtandil
Zardaishvili was elected as Sakrebulo Chairperson, while a representative of the Georgian Dream,
Joni Osiashvili was elected as acting governor. Activists of the Georgian Dream protested approval
of the candidates, accusing them of making a deal with the UNM.
Lanchkhuti in late November, activists of the Georgian Dream Shota Pirtskhalaishvili was on a
hunger strike for several days outside Lanchkhuti Municipality Gamgeoba. He was supported by
some of the activists of the Georgian Dream. Although he stopped hunger strike, the protest was
continued in a larger scale. In early December, another group of activists supported by the
Republicans laid out a tent with the capacity of 200 people. Several people on a hunger strike stayed
in the tent, demanding resignation of Acting Gamgebeli Kakha Askurava and Sakrebulo
Chairperson Revaz Chitadze, governor and president. As participants clarified, following the
elections the power was assumed by a different political force in the country and therefore,
subsequent changes in municipal authorities were necessary. The situation has not changed. People
in tents outside Gamgeoba continue to protest.
On December 7 a competition was announced for a vacant position of Gamgebeli. The competition
will be finished by the end of December. A competition and certification commission has been set
up for selection of Gamgebeli, manned by 15 members.
Khobi on November 30, a protest rally was stage, demanding resignation of Gamgebeli Goga
Ghurtskaia and Sakrebulo Chairperson Mamuka Chokhonelidze.
On December 5, Sakrebulo Chairperson Mamuka Chokhonelidze submitted a letter of resignation
at his own free will. He did not explain a reason for resignation, only noted that it was his own
decision and he had not been subjected to any pressure. On December 6, Gamgebeli of the
Municipality Goga Ghurtskaia also submitted a letter of resignation.
During an extraordinary meeting held on December 6, members of Sakrebulo elected Mamuka
Kardava as a chairperson. He was a manager of the Georgian Dreams election campaign in Khobi.
New chairperson of Sakrebulo accepted the resignation letter of Khobi Gamgebeli Goga Ghurtskaia.
During a meeting held on December 14, Sakrebulo elected member of the Georgian Dream,
Kakhaber Benidze as Acting Gamgebeli of Khobi Municipality with majority of votes. At the very
same meeting, new opposition faction Khobi was established, headed by former chairperson of
Sakrebulo Mamuka Chokhonelidze.

Senaki on December 3, Chairperson of Senaki Sakrebulo Besik Narmania made an official

statement about resignation. He explained that he had made the decision ar his own free will, in
consideration of interests of Senaki population. During the December 7 meeting of Sakrebulo,
member of Sakrebulo, Murad Shamatava (Georgian Dream Free Democrats) was elected as
Sakrebulo Chairperson.
On December 20, initiative group of the society Senakelebi staged a protest rally demanding
resignation of Gamgebeli Tengiz Adamia. Participants were supporting the candidacy of the
Georgian Dreams leader, Gocha Bokuchava for the position of Senaki Gamgebeli. Senakelebi gave
Sakrebulo one-month ultimatum to meet their demands; otherwise, they threatened to continue
protest rallies.
Kazbegi on December 3, Kazbegi Gamgebeli Davit Ghudushauri submitted an application for
resignation, citing deterioration of health as the reason. He had been serving as acting Gamgebeli
since July 13, after former Gamgebeli Viktor Sujasjvili resigned at his own free will.
On December 8, the Municipality Sakrebulo appointed head of the Georgian Dreams office in
Stepantsminda, Shalva Eloshvili as Acting Gamgebeli, effective before announcement of
competition. Other representatives of the Georgian Dreams office, Givi Kirikashvili and Gia
Seturidze were appointed as his deputies.
Chairperson of Kazbegi Municipality Sakrebulo Davit Khutsishvili (UNM) resigned for family
commitments. Deputy Chairperson Vazha Chkareuli (UNM) has assumed responsibilities of
Acting Chairperson of Sakrebulo.
Tsalenjikha on December 5, Chairperson of Tsalenjikha Municipality Sakrebulo Kakhaber
Tsimindia and Gamgebeli Mamuka Kardava submitted letters of resignation at their own free
will. During an extraordinary meeting held on December 7, Davit Belkania (Georgian Dream) was
elected as Sakrebulo Chairperson with majority of votes. According to the Chairperson of
Sakrebulo, candidates for the position of Deputy Gamgebeli will be nominated in due time, as
prescribe by law.
On December 17, during an extraordinary meeting of Tsalenjikha Municipality Sakrebulo, letter of
resignation of Gamgebeli Mamuka Kardava was accepted and competition was announced for the
Zugdidi on December 5, representatives of public movement arrived in Gamgeoba, demanding
resignation of Zugdidi Municipality Gamgebeli Aleksandre Kobalia and Sakrebulo Chairperson
Levan Konjaria; however, Aleksandre Kobalia was out of the office. The meeting could not be
arranged the following day either.
On December 11, representatives of public movement Tetri Mandili met with the Sakrebulo
Chairperson and members to demand voluntary resignation of the latter as well as the Gamgebeli.
The meeting was unsuccessful. On December 17, representatives of the public movement Tetri
Mandili staged a protest rally outside the building of Sakrebulo, demanding resignation of Sakrebulo
Chairperson and Gamgebeli.
According to the rally participants, unless municipal officials resign representatives of civil society
intend to stage large-scale protest rallies.

On December 18, letter of resignation was submitted by Gamgebeli of Zugdidi Municipality

Aleksandre Kobalia. Sakrebulo plans to consider the letter in the nearest future. According to
Sakrebulo Chairperson Levan Konjaria, he intends to stay in his office and has no plans to resign.
On December 20, Sakrebulo accepted Kobalias resignation letter. Deputy Gamgebeli Ruslan
Kilasonia will assume responsibilities of Gamgebeli, effective before announcement of the
Kareli on December 7, during the Sakrebulo meeting, resignation letter of Kareli Gamgebeli Ilia
Burjanadze (UNM) was accepted. He cited family commitments as the reason. Ivane Osadze was
elected as a new Gamgebeli. He is a professor of historic sciences at Tbilisi Technical University
and applied to Sakrebulo for the position of Acting Gamgebeli. According to Osadze, there will be
certain staff changes made in Kareli Municipality Gamgeoba but these changes will in no way be
politically motivated.
On December 1, during a press-conference held in the office of the UNM, MP Akaki Minashvili
announced that financial police had commenced inspection of Kareli Gamgeoba. According to him,
representatives of the Georgian Dream were forcing Burjanadze to resign; however, the report of
financial police commencing the inspection was not confirmed by the Ministry of Finance of
According to the December 17 report, all employees and specialists at Kareli Municipality
Gamgeoba as well as trustees of 18 territorial units submitted resignation letters. Gamgebeli hismelf
plans to make an announcement about the resignations.
Vani on December 7, law enforcement officers arrested Vani Sakrebulo Chairperson Davit
Kakabadze. On December 9, Kutaisi District Court ordered him to pay GEL 13 000 in bail as a
preventive measure. Kakabadze was arrested over a clash during pre-election period, involving
beating of an intoxicated citizen in the UNMs office in Vani. On December 13, the bail was
reduced to GEL 7000; however, the prosecution was demanding increase of the bail up to GEL
15 000. Davit Kakabadze remains in his office and is currently on a vacation.
Dmanisi on December 10, majority faction UNM in Dmanisi Sakrebulo broke up. The UNM had
a faction composed of 22 members in a total of 25-member Sakrebulo. 20 members alienated
themselves from the faction and set up an independent faction Without a Party. Members of
Sakrebulo explain that they made the decision at their own initiative, which Sakrebulo Chairperson
Bakur Mgeladze disagrees with and believes that they were forced to leave the faction as a result of
pressure exerted by majoritarian member of Sakrebulo Kakha Okriashvili. Members of Sakrebulo
state that they had not been subjected to any pressure but rather, formation of a new faction has to
do with ongoing political processes in the country.
On December 13, supporters and activists of the Georgian Dream staged a protest rally outside
Dmanisi Municipality Gamgeoba. Participants demanded appointment of the Georgian Dreams
representatives as Sakrebulo Chairperson and Gamgebeli.
At an extraordinary meeting on December 14, 20 members of Sakrebulo who had left the UNM
motioned for removal of Sakrebulo Chairperson Bakur Mgeladze from office and elected candidate
from faction Without a Party as Sakrebulo Chairperson, Nodar Aduashvili as Sakrebulo
Chairperson in a secret ballot. Aduashvili gained 20 votes.

Khelvachauri 9 members of the UNM left the faction in Municipality Sakrebulo made up of 22
members. Sakrebulo Chairperson and one other member became independent members, whereas
remaining seven established a faction Forward to the Future.
Abasha on December 10, Gamgebeli of Abasha Municipality Guram Gunava submitted a
resignation letter, which was referred to Sakrebulo for consideration. According to Guram Gunava,
he had made the decision at his own free will, in view of his advancing age. He also stated that his
resignation was not related in any way to cases of Tengiz Gunava, former chief of general
Khashuri on December 12, Khashuri Gamgebeli Roin Makharoblidze (UNM) submitted a
resignation letter later accepted at Sakrebulo meeting. With majority of votes, Giorgi Beraia was
appointed Acting Gamgebeli. Sakrebulo members state that Giorgi Beraia has not been affiliated to
any party and has never pursued political activities. They also state that Gamgebeli was not
subjected to any pressure; however, he had no right to maintain his office following the
parliamentary elections. Giorgi Beraia appointed Deputy Gamgebelies and assistants for a threemonth probationary period.
Adigeni on December 13, some members of the Georgian Dream and population of the village of
Mlashe assembled outside Municipality Gamgeoba to support Levan Lobjanidze, a candidate for the
position of Gamgebeli. Some of the Georgian Dreams activists staged rallies periodically for the
period of two weeks, pushing for the appointment of their candidate. Gamgebeli Simon
Parunashvili, who has been holding the office since 2009, has not submitted a resignation letter and
continues his work as usual. According to Parunashvili, he has no plans to resign at his own will.
Another part of the Georgian Dreams activists support appointment of Mamuka Kukhalashvili as
Municipality Gamgebeli. On December 17, a protest rally was staged in Adigeni in support of Ina
Kapanadzes candidacy.
There are total of 24 members in Adigeni Municipality Sakrebulo. There are no plans to change staff
in Sakrebulo but rather, they continue to work as usual; however, establishment of faction Georgian
Dream Republicans is underway in Sakrebulo.
Ambrolauri on December 13, supporters of the coalition Georgian Dream staged a protest rally in
Ambrolauri, demanding resignation of Sakrebulo Chairperson Kakhaber Parjanadze and
Gamgebeli Levan Jmukhadze. According to the rally participants, unless their demands are met
they will continue picketing.
Bolnisi on December 18, members of the Georgian Dream and around 40 citizens staged a protest
rally outside Gamgeoba in Bolnisi, demanding resignation of Gamgebeli and Sakrebulo
Chairperson. They were joined by Azebaijani population against Koba Nakopia, Majoritarian MP of
Bolnisi. Participants stopped rallying later the same day.
Tbilisi on October 14, 2012, Nino Vashakidze, lead specialist at the Service Department of the
Commission for Recognition of Property Rights for Land Plots under the Ownership (Exploitation)
of Natural Persons and Legal Persons of Private Law, at the Legal Civil Service of Tbilisi City Hall


was dismissed from work. She believes that her dismissal had to do with personal messaging with
journalist Shalva Ramishvili on social network. 14
According to Nino Vashakidze, in personal messaging with the journalist she expressed her opinion
about the ongoing developments in the country. On October 14, 2012, head of the department Irakli
Abesade convened a meeting about this matter. Following the meeting, Nino Vashakidze submitted
a letter of esignation. She was convinced that they would dismiss her soon anyways and that it was
risky for her to stay in the office.
Notably, following the elections ISFED was approached by a former employee of the City Hall,
Giorgi Pitskhelauri to provide information about politically motivated dismissals during pre-election
period in Tbilisi.
Giorgi Pirtskhelauri, former deputy head of Tbilisi City Halls Legal Civil Department, submitted
a letter of resignation on July 26, 2012, as at that time members of his family symphathized with the
Georgian Dream.
According to Giorgi Pirtskhelauri, Head of the Legal Civil Department Irakli Abesadze told him to
willingly leave his office in view of the fact that his family symphathized with the opposition.
Deputy Mayors Davit Alavidze and Shota Khizanishvili demanded the same.

Protest rallies of citizens requesting resignation of officials stems from their expectation that
following the change in the central authorities it is only natural for changes to also occur in
municipal governments, for the Georgian Dream to become a decision-making political force at the
local level as well.
Such public sentiments have been engendered by their wrongful perception of local selfgovernments essence and functions on the one hand, frequently caused by the work that municipal
officials pursued; in particular, during the pre-election period self-government officials were widely
viewed as representatives of the ruling party and their supporters at the local level, further promoted
by the fact that the Election Code grants the status of a political official to Gamgebelis even though
they should go through a competitive process of selection for appointment. It is due to the status that
they enjoy an unlimited right to campaigning. Moreover, regrettably sometimes self-government
officials and public servants perpetrated illegal activities against local population, including
dismissals from work, making threats, pressure, misuse of administrative resources, etc.
Nevertheless, such precedents in no way justify the illegal pressure and violence in a number of
municipalities. Regrettably, the trend continues and the authorities fail to take effective measures for
prevention. We believe that the transfer of power in self-governments must be abided by procedures

This amounts to an illegal action envisaged by para.2 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of Georgia; in particular,
Disclosure of Privacy of Personal Correspondence, Telephone Conversations or Other Massage by abusing
official power, as Nino Vashakidzes personal communication on social network was intercepted;


prescribed by law, and the government of Georgia must ensure that they function in a pressure-free
We also believe that the existing situation once more show the necessity of reforming the system of
local self-governance to ensure their actual independence and non-interference in issues that fall
under their purview. We believe that making offices of Mayors and Gamgebelis elective is one of
the ways to build trust in local self-government officials and boost stability of these institutes.


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