The Process of transferring land plots in Tbilisi to the companies with connections to former Prime Minister Ivanishvili violates the principle of integrity in governance

10 October, 2017

The Tbilisi City Council is planning to adopt today, 10 October, a decision on transferring the ownership of land plots in the Freedom Square (near the Pushkini Garden) and in Okroqana (near the Panorama Tbilisi construction site) to the companies linked to former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

We believe that the decision to award the publicly owned land plots the companies connected to Mr Ivanishvili on preferential terms lacks substantiation, is not based on clear public interest and raises question regarding the motivation behind the actions of the city authorities, particularly since the ruling party’s founder is the beneficiary of the decision. It is worth noting that we also spoke last year about the possible corruption risks linked to the Panorama Tbilisi project. Regrettably, the same process continues now.

It is also alarming that neither interested citizens nor members of the Georgian Parliament were allowed to attend the discussion of the decision which is a clear violation of the Georgian law and also contradicts the principles of transparency and accountability in government.

We urge the Tbilisi city authorities to make decisions concerning the city’s development exclusively based on public interest and also to ensure participation of all interested parties and citizens in the decision-making process, as well as openness of the process. We also urged the law enforcement bodies to act according to the law and not to create obstacles to the individuals who are entitled under the law to attend the City Council’s session.