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Georgian PM Wants To Evict Saakashvili From Presidential Palace

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's government also wants to take the power to name governors away from the president.
Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says President Mikheil Saakashvili should vacate the presidential palace.

Ivanishvili told journalists on November 2 it was too expensive for the Georgian government to maintain the building.

The prime minister said the spending on the palace was "immoral" and that savings could be used to help the "many refugees and poor citizens in our country."

According to Ivanishvili, the state pays $500,000 per year just for the palace's electricity bills.

The prime minister suggested that the president and his staff could work in part of Tbilisi's State Chancellery building.

Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition defeated Saakashvili's United National Movement party in parliamentary elections a month ago.

In related news, the government is working on a new law giving the cabinet the power to appoint regional governors.

That power is currently held by the president.

Regional Development and Infrastructure Minister David Narmania told journalists on November 2 that the law did not require a constitutional change and would be sent for consideration by parliament.

According to Narmania, regional governors represent the government and therefore they should not be presidential appointees.

President Saakashvili's United National Movement party was defeated by Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition in parliamentary elections last month.

With reporting by Interfax,, and