TBILISI, DFWatch–According to a new survey, the number keeps growing of public employees who are members of President Saakashvili’s party and have been fired after the parliamentary elections of October, 2012.
The report, which is published by International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), shows that 46 town mayors, or gamgebelis, have left their posts after the parliamentary election. 44 of them wrote resignation letters.
“Most of the fired officials do not speak publicly about it, but in private conversations they talk about pressure,” the new report says.
Some local government representatives claim that their employees write resignation letters themselves, while others inform that the reason for firing employees is a new plan to choose staff through competition.
The resignation of officials was preceded by a number of protest rallies of locals and activists from the new ruling Georgian Dream coalition in 28 municipalities. They demanded to appoint new people in local governments. In of the 24 cases, their rallies turned into physical confrontation, intrusion into and blocking of public buildings.
After the gamgebelis resigned, there began a massive replacement of staff in 21 municipalities, such as Telavi, Akhmeta, Kaspi, and Kareli.
“Citizens think that the change of government should cause the resignation of officials, that’s why they demand new gamgebelis,” according to the report.
ISFED thinks that new government does not work actively to eliminate the pressure and violence in municipalities and considers that a reform is needed.
The next local election is in 2014.