TBILISI, DFWatch — Transparency International Georgia claims pressure may have been involved as over a thousand public employees have left their jobs after the change of government in October, 2012.

The group writes that employees of public institutions are under pressure and many have been forced to leave.

According to information from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, over 1 200 public employees left their positions from 25 October to 1 December, 2012.

“The October, 2012 parliamentary elections resulted in a change of government in Georgia. Following this significant event, changes have taken place, and are still ongoing in the public service sector throughout the country. While it is natural that reform and reorganization will occur as a new government takes office, in many instances these processes seem unjustified,” TI writes.

According to a table that shows the numbers of dismissed employees, a large number of them have submitted resignation letters. TI considers this suspicious because of the very high unemployment rate in Georgia and claims that in most cases these persons were forced by higher level officials to write their letters of resignation.

The highest rate of dismissed employees – 493 persons – was seen in the Interior Ministry. 157 employees were transferred to the Human Resources Department.

Irakli Tsaava, Zurab Soselia, Levan Jishkariani and Dazmir Janashia are among those 493 persons. They told TI that they had been pressured into writing applications to be transferred to the Human Resources Department. They said that after they refused, were told “you don’t meet our requirements and should leave”.

Before the election in October, 2012, the publication of several videos showing torture and rape of prisoners caused a big scandal. The employees of the prison abused both adult and juvenile prisoners. The Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia was accused of indifference.

The day after elections day, on October 2, current Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili stated : “ Every public employee, every professional will keep their jobs, including police and ministry”.

A similar promise was given by Zugdidi Governor Edisher Toloraia, who is also regional leader for Zugdidi of the current ruling party, Georgian Dream.

“I’m not going to dismiss the employees of the municipality, they have qualification, experience and the human factor is a reason too,” Toloraia told TI on January 14.

“Regardless of these promises, as Transparency International Georgia found out, Toloraia held a special meeting last week which was attended by the heads of departments, along with employees of Zugdidi Municipality. The acting governor asked all of them to write resignation letters. Also, he appealed to them to persuade subordinate employees to do the same. (…) Toloraia confirmed with us that employees actually wrote the said resignation letters,” TI writes in the statement.

TI has prepared a form for people who think that they were dismissed unfairly from their jobs after October 1.

The organization is working on a survey about the problem which will presented it in the near future.