Bakhtadze Promises Raise for Military, a Month Before Runoff Elections

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze held a regular press conference before a governmental meeting on Thursday. He told reporters that the government plans to increase the salaries of 7,726 military servicemen and women in 2019-2020.

Bakhtadze added that, starting in 2019, salaries will also increase for border guards by 250 GEL ($92) a month. There are also plans to increase the salaries of other units, including the special security service, from January 1.

"Significant steps have been taken Since 2016 to improve the financial situation of the armed forces and to increase their social support. The salaries of 7,726 military servicemen will be raised in 2019-2020. I would like to remind you that the salaries of about 14,000 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was raised in summer 2018. This process will continue," promised Bakhtadze.

The Prime Minister also spoke about providing apartments for contractual military officers and noted that the obligations undertaken in 2007 would be fulfilled by 2020.

The announcements were made less than a month before the runoff presidential elections on December 2, prompting criticism that the ruling Georgian Dream party is pandering to voters.

By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Reuters, via RFE/RL

09 November 2018 14:05