NGOs urge the Tbilisi City Assembly and the Mayor’s Office to cooperate

17 March, 2014

It has been three months since approval of Tbilisi City budget is a matter of contention between the majority of Tbilisi City Assembly and the minority of the Assembly, which supports Tbilisi Mayor’s Office. According to the Georgian legislation, if an Assembly does not approve a local self-governmental budget within three months of approval of the state budget, the Government of Georgia, with consent of the Parliament issues a resolution on premature termination of authority of an Assembly and establishment of direct state governance. Direct state governance is exercised in the respective local self-governmental unit by the Mayor appointed by the Government of Georgia. Implementation of direct state governance is supervised by the Government of Georgia. Therefore, if the Tbilisi City budget is not approved by 11 March, the City Assembly will be deprived of its authority and the direct state governance will be initiated until the new membership of the Assembly is elected.

It should be noted, that the reasons provided for not approving the budget reinforce the assumptions that blocking the process of budget approval is artificially caused.

It is important to overcome this crisis first and foremost due to the interests of Tbilisi residents to rule of impediment of provision of important state services. It is also noteworthy, that dismissal of an elected Assembly and establishment of direct governance is dangerous for the process of democracy in the country, especially, within the context of the soon to be held local self-governmental elections. Establishing direct governance in the Capital before the 2014 self-governmental elections would negatively affect assessment of the electoral environment.

In order to avoid such a danger and at the same time to provide Tbilisi residents with quality and adequate public services, we once again urge Tbilisi City Mayor’s Office, Tbilisi City Assembly majority and minority parties to constructively work on the budget process. These political organizations and parties should show ample responsibility and try their best to achieve consensus regarding the City budget by 11 March 2014.

Transparency International Georgia (TI)

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) 

Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA)