Opposition claims ruling party intends to adopt municipal budget without their involvement

Member of the UNM Ana Tsitlidze has stated that the approval of the municipal budget in an expedited manner is an ‘illegal and illegitimate process.’ Photo: IPN.

Agenda.ge, 17 Nov 2021 - 15:16, Tbilisi,Georgia

Members of the opposition For Georgia and the United National Movement (UNM) parties claim that the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party intends to adopt a municipal budget prior to the convening of new city councils (Sakrebulo), members of which were elected in October local self-government elections. 

For Georgia member Mikheil Daushvili has called on the GD ‘not to dare approve the municipal budget before the new councils are approved.’

By the decision of the citizens, we are represented in Tbilisi, as well as in all regions of Georgia, at the level of self-government. Our vote will be decisive in many councils, including in the process of approving the municipal budget,” Daushvili said.

He also underscored that the municipal budget is one of the most important documents, saying  that it ‘should be focused on the priorities and challenges of the population.’

Member of the UNM Ana Tsitlidze has also stated that the approval of the municipal budget in an expedited manner is an ‘illegal and illegitimate process.’

Based on the final results of municipal elections, the ruling party garnered 47% of the vote in the proportional part of the race, while losing the majority in seven out of 64 municipalities’ city assemblies. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

She noted that the city councils have already started the process ‘based on the instructions of the central government,’ adding that per the Local Self-Government Code, the deadline for approving the budget is December 30. 

Tsitlidze along with other UNM members who are on hunger strike demanding ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s transfer to a civil hospital, is demanding the suspension of the process in Zugdidi City Assembly, where discussion of a draft local budget for 2022 started on November 15.

However, the ruling party states that they are just ‘following the schedule prescribed by law.’

The Acting Chairman of Zugdidi City Assembly, Besik Chezhia, says that City Hall is obliged to submit a budget for the following year to the City Council for review no later than November 15 of each year.

He also noted that they only discussed and set deadlines for the review of the budget project, adding that ‘the opposition was actively involved in the work.’