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NGOs discuss problems of new government

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, April 24
Transparency International Georgia (TI) and the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) have made remarks towards the current Georgian leadership. Based on the reports published by the organizations, there are various problems regarding protectionism in the country and with regard to self-government bodies.

A report published by TI Georgia reflected the information concerning Food Line Georgia, the company that won the tender declared by the defense ministry several days ago ( two tenders were announced by the MoD regarding the purchase of food for soldiers). There were speculations that the company is owned by the husband of Georgian Dream member, Irine Imerlishvili-Shalva Beboshvili.

TI Georgia claims that Beboshvili was appointed as head of the Food Line Georgia a day before the company took part in the tenders and that the company has never taken part in any tenders before.

Food Line Georgia was declared a winner in both tenders. However, due to technical violations, one of the tenders was rescinded.

TI states that speaking on the violations or on issues of nepotism is hard. “However, there are several points in the issue that raise several questions and doubts regarding possible violations.”

Possible violations are stressed in the report issued by ISFED, as well that introduced the information concerning self-government bodies after the parliamentary elections of October 2012.

The NGO emphasized that after the elections, 50 heads of the municipalities quit their positions mainly on their own will (48 of them); 25 chairs of the town-halls also left their jobs, 21 of them based on personal decision.

“Competitions for appointing new heads of municipalities were announced in only 15 municipalities. New factions were formed in 54 municipalities that changed the balance of power,” ISFED states.

The organization also stressed that from October 1 of 2012 to February 28 of 2013, 1, 877 employees were dismissed from the municipalities.

“In many cases, statements concerning the dismissal of tens of employees are written one and the same day and that is cause for reasonable doubt regarding the free choice of their actions,” ISFED statement reads.

The NGO states that in 16 municipalities there were cases of selecting the staff based on their support for the Georgian Dream.

ISFED negatively assessed the tendency in the self-government bodies and appealed to the government to solve the self-government bodies through discussions.

“Certain steps should be made to stop the negative tendency in the regions. Holding a discussion with participation of the government and the NGOs on the issue is important. The discussion should be dedicated to finding ways out of the situation and protecting the interests of those whose rights were violated,” ISFED Suggests.

Imerlishvili responded to the statements concerning her husband. According to her, her husband is a good manager.

“My husband is a manager in one of the firms and not the owner. He took several serious posts under the leadership of the former government as well and those structures were acting well under the leadership of my husband as he is a good manager,” Imerlishvili said.