TBILISI, DFWatch–Lawyers claim that the head of the municipality’s executive body, the gamgebeli, in a town in south Georgia is forcing them to write their letter of resignation.
Levan Tsabadze, member of the Georgian Dream coalition and gamgebeli of Aspindza municipality, is said to have demanded from attorneys and their assistants, who have been working here for years.
The demand was put forth at a meeting on August 2.
Five attorneys out of the 11 who work for Aspindza municipality refused to write their resignation letter. Tsabadze said at the meeting that if the attorneys don’t leave, he will dismiss them in other ways.
Tsabadze confirmed to International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) that he demanded from the attorneys that they write their resignation letters, but he denied the accusation about pressure. He claims that the residents of Aspindza are dissatisfied with the work the attorney do and want to have them replaced.
Jimsher Mchedlishvili, one of the five who refused to resign, says he has worked at Aspindza municipality for about 35 years and won’t leave his seat, because attorneys have families to support.
Tsabadze was chosen as gamgebeli of Aspindza on May 16, 2012. The employees of the Gamgeoba, the municipal district, became concerned back in June 2012, and claimed that Tsabadze was planning a mass dismissal from July, because he is a representative of the new ruling party, Georgian Dream.
They also claim that Tsabadze said he could not work with representatives of the previous ruling party, the United National Movement. But despite this, he didn’t make any changes in the municipality in 2012.
Tsabadze claimed in talks with ISFED that his demand is not related to the October, 2013, presidential election.
After the parliamentary election in October, 2012, and until May 2013, about 1900 people have been dismissed from local municipalities in various parts of Georgia. ISFED concluded that those dismissals were done for political reasons.
“We consider that Gamgebeli’s demand to attorneys and their assistants about resignation letters is illegal and indicates the signs of pressure,” ISFED writes in a statement.