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Ugulava says financial audit of Municipal institutions is politicized

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, November 29
The Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava, said that the financial audit of the municipal offices have signs of political persecution. Ugulava said the inspection as a process is not a problem, but he said its scale causes suspicions.

The financial audit of several Tbilisi Municipal services started on November 27. According to the Ministry of Finance, none of the offices have been sealed and they operate as usual. Director of the municipal cleaning service said his company is ready to provide all the necessary documents for inspection.

The municipal cleaning service is not the only institution being inspected. Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri said the financial audit aims at revealing whether the companies are loyally paying taxes. He said this issue cannot be politicized.

Prime Minister Bidizna Ivanishvili also encouraged everyone after the government session on November 28 not to politicize the issue. The PM said even though it is only gossip, he supposed that the financial audit might be aimed at revealing the so-called “zonder-brigades” working at the municipal cleaning service.

He said the former government tried to establish groups to help them rule the country and promised that nothing similar can happen during the Georgian Dream’s governance.

Meanwhile at the National Congress of the Local Self-governances, Ugulava spoke of direct pressure on the local-self governments. He said the financial inspection of the regional self-governments is particularly “unruly.”

According to the mayor, the deputy head of finance of the police, Giga Akhvlediani, who coordinates the process, is a “former legionary.”

“Local self-governments have a new hangman,” he said, referring to Akhvlediani.

Encouraging the local-self government representatives to stand together, Ugulava said the new government has managed to establish “a repressive machine” during the two months after the Parliamentary election.

Ugulava said Georgia is now passing the test of democracy. The mayor said the country should provide a good example of cohabitation (between the former and new government) while the Georgian Dream does not seem willing to do so. He felt suspicious that the new government will now try to take control over the local self-governances.

However, Georgian Dream member Gia Zhorzholiani said his team fought against the political pressure from the United National Movement (UNM) so that the new government will not do what it used to discourage so far. Addressing the opponents to avoid “populist” statements, he said any violation will be investigated.