New Georgian president will have less funding: details on the inauguration and new residence
According to the draft budget of Georgia for 2019, the presidential administration’s funding will be reduced by 3.5 million lari [more than $ 1.4 million).
Georgia chose its new president on 28 November in the second round of presidential elections.Pro-government candidate Salome Zourabichvili became the fifth president of the country, winning 59.52 per cent of the vote.Her opposition rival Grigol Vashadze scored 40.48 per cent.International observers called the elections competitive, but unfair.The opposition, led by ex-President Saakashvili, does not recognize the election results and demands early parliamentary elections.
The budgetary cutback is not the only change that will affect the presidential administration.
In addition, more than half of the employees will be fired from the administration. Of the current 140, only 60 employees will remain.
Another change is that the presidential fund has been completely abolished.
In the past, five million lari [about $1.9 million] was transferred from the treasury to the presidential fund. The fund financed, for example, scholarships for Georgian students studying in Western universities.
When will the inauguration take place?
The inauguration of President-elect Salome Zourabichvili will take place on 16 December, the third Sunday after the elections as determined by law.
However, the location of the ceremony is still unknown.
The predecessor of Zourabichvili, Giorgi Margvelashvili, as well as other previous presidents of Georgia, took the oath in the parliament building in Tbilisi.
The first possibility is the Avlabari residence of the current president of Georgia.
The second option is a ceremony in the courtyard of the Parliament building in Tbilisi, where the inauguration of the fourth president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, took place in 2013.
The second president elected in 1995 was Eduard Shevardnadze – he governed Georgia for 11 years and was forced to retire by the Rose Revolution of 2003. Photo: The inauguration of the second president, Eduard Shevardnadze, 2000. REUTERS
Where will the president work from?
The residence of the new president will also be located elsewhere.
Zourabichvili refused to work in the presidential administration building in Avlabari (Tbilisi district), which was built under the third president, Mikhail Saakashvili.
Zourabichvili will work in a residence located on Atoneli Street. The Avlabari mansion, which houses the administration of the fifth president, is now being renovated, and roadworks are taking place on the street.
The leaders of the Georgian Dream party have long been “struggling” with the presidential residence in Avlabari.
The Avlabari residence has been one of the main causes of tension in the relationship between the former prime minister and de facto leader of the country, Bidzina Ivanishvili, and President Margvelashvili.
Despite initially saying he wouldn’t move to the Avlabari residence after being elected president, Margvelashvili decided to do just that, and in so doing turned Ivanishvili against himself.
For Ivanishvili, Margvelashvili’s decision was tantamount to betrayal.
Zurabishvili visits Margvelashvili
The current President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, met with President-elect Salome Zourabichvili at the Avlabari residence on 3 December.
Zourabichvili stated that the meeting focused on inauguration issues and the procedure for transferring cases.
It should be noted that this 18-minute meeting was, in fact, historic – in the 27 years of Georgian independence there has not yet been a meeting between the president elect and their successor to discuss the transfer of power in a constructive working environment.
Margvelashvili took the initiative to meet right after the results of the second round of elections were announced.