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Majority Mayoral candidate vows to solve Tbilisi parking system

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 11
A deal between the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office and Israeli company City Park over the arrangement of the parking system in Tbilisi has turned into one of the hottest topics of discussion among Tbilisi Mayoral candidates.

After statements over the issue were made by an independent candidate for Tbilisi Mayor’s post, Aleko Elisashvili, and the United National Movement candidate, Zaal Udumashvili, now the Georgian Dream ruling party’s candidate Kakha Kaladze claims he will stop the “unacceptable contract” with City Park.

Kaladze, who played football for Milan and Dynamo Kiev before coming to politics in 2012, says the parking system should be managed by the city authorities and not by a private company.

Former Energy Minister Kaladze says that City Park, which entered Georgia under the United National Movement leadership, brought “only fines and a little parking area”.

He says that the contract with City Park is full of “wrong obligations” and the contract must be very closely examined.

Kaladze stresses the offers of other candidates over paying a fine for suspending the contract through the Tbilisi budget are “populist.”

The contract between the City Park company and the Mayor’s Office was signed in 2007, and the company received exclusive rights to manage parking services in Tbilisi until 2022.

However, the service costs and rules have raised various questions about the company amongst people who disapprove of City Park’s work.

The Georgian Dream government also stated they were unsatisfied with the work of City Park and has stressed many times that the agreement is unprofitable for the city, but they cannot cancel the contract, because according to the international auditing company Ernst & Young, the cancellation of the agreement will cost the Mayor’s office 25 million GEL in expenses.

As it appears, Mr. Kaladze forgot that the current state leadership defeated the United National Movement in 2012 and in early August 2014 Tbilisi already had Mayor David Narmania representing the same team Kaladze belongs to.

Narmania also stated during his election campaign that City Park must leave Tbilisi.

Three years in Tbilisi’s leadership should have been enough time for the Georgian Dream city administration to study the contract in detail and reveal the points that could become reasons for annulling the contract.

The fact that such details have not been revealed means that either there were no such details, or the Tbilisi administration ignored the issue.

It is unlikely Narmania personally made a decision to “ignore” such a painful topic without agreeing with more influential people in the team.

Kaladze’s statement over City Park is either populist or if elected, he manages to settle the problem then this would mean he is far more influential in the team than Narmania ever was, which is hard to predict at this stage.