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Another confrontation between Sakrebulo and City Hall

By Natalie Osipovi
Monday, January 27
The confrontation between Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo) and the City Hall over the Tbilisi budget continues.

On January 24, acting Mayor of Tbilisi, Sevdia Ugrekhelidze, addressed an official letter to the chairman of the Sakrebulo, where she demanded to convene a special session in one week. This requirement is intended for the discussion of the 2014 budget of the capital, which was proved neither in 2013, nor during the previous session. According to City Hall, the mentioned “illegal” actions of the Sakrebulo create problems in fulfilling various projects to be implemented in the capital and also hinders the function of municipal services.

In a response, Chairman of Sakrebulo Irakli Shikhiashvili appointed a meeting in the evening of the same day. “During the day, I demanded an explanation on whether it was possible to discuss the budget submitted 4 days ago. Anyway, the representatives of the United National Movement with pressure and blackmail tried to hold the session. I do not want to be accused of not approving the budget, so the session will be held in two hours,” Shikhiashvili stated.

He also added that he would attend the meeting together with his deputy and he would be quite categorical during the discussion.

The City Hall called this action illegal, referring to the Article 65 of the Regulation of Tbilisi Sakrebulo. “Two hours is not a reasonable date of appointing the meeting. Besides that, it is illegitimate. City Hall will not take part in such illegal actions and we still demand that the meeting be held in one week. We are ready to work and consult with the commissions during this one week,” City Hall’s statement reads, stressing that the more time passes without approval of the budget, the more significantly it affects the interests of the capital and its citizens.

However, in reply, the Sakrebulo cited to the 14th Article of “The Law on The Capital of Georgia-Tbilisi”, according to which, the appointed session was legal. “The statement of Tbilisi City Hall is not competent and they had no right to mislead society,” the response reads.

Either way, the Sakrebulo special session failed on January 24. Members of the minority did not attend the meeting. The session had only 15 attendees, Shikhiashvili stated.

The chairman of the Sakrebulo said the project was ready, but the session was canceled due to the absence of the minority. The deputy of Shikhiashvili, Jaba Samushia, said this is a clear example of who wants to create problems with the budget. “If you were ready, you could attended today’s meeting and if not, then make it possible for us to work,” Samushia addressed the opponent.