2014 Local Self-Government

NGOs Urge Cooperation between Tbilisi Sakrebulo and Office of Mayor

Adoption of Tbilisi Budget has been the subject of a severe three-month long confrontation between majority members of Tbilisi Sakrebulo on the one hand and the Office of Tbilisi Mayor and minority members of Tbilisi Sakrebulo who support the latter. Under the Georgian law if Sakrebulo fails to adopt a budget of a self-governing unit within three months after the adoption of the State Budget of Georgia, based on the consent of the Parliament of Georgia the government will adopt a resolution to terminate powers of Sakrebulo prematurely and to establish direct state government. Direct state government in a self-governing unit is exercised by Mayor appointed by the Government of Georgia and supervised by the Government of Georgia. Consequently, if Sakrebulo fails to adopt the budget of Tbilisi prior to March 11, its powers will be terminated and direct state government will be enforce until new members of Sakrebulo are elected. 
Notably, arguments cited for the delay in adoption of the budget raise a reasonable doubt that the process is procrastinated on purpose (http://www.transparency.ge/blog/tbilisis-biujeti-politikuri-tamashi-tu-mosakhleobaze-zrunva). It is in best interest of constituents to find a solution to the crisis in order to prevent delays in provision of public service. Notably, dismissal of Sakrebulo elected by constituents and enforcement of direct government may be very harmful for the democratic processes in the country, particularly in consideration of the upcoming municipal elections. Enforcement of direct state government in the run up to the municipal elections will have an adverse impact on the assessment of pre-election environment. 
To prevent the threat and ensure that constituents are provided with quality and appropriate services, we urge Office of Mayor of Tbilisi, majority and minority members of Tbilisi Sakrebulo to cooperate in a constructive manner, to prevent enforcement of direct state government in Tbilisi. They must show adequate responsibility and facilitate as much as possible reaching of the consensus about the budget and its adoption prior to March 11, 2014.