Tkibuli Magistrate's Court ordered an immediate reinstatement of ISFED’s defendant Neli Kareli-Kakhidze to her workplace and awarding her with a provisional salary

With the decision of May 5, 2023, The Magistrate Court of Tkibuli satisfied the claim of the head of the Health and Social Services of Tkibuli municipality, Neli Kareli-Kakhidze, to disannul the administrative act on her dismissal. Tkibuli City Hall ordered a reinstatement of Mrs. Kareli-Kakhidze. The court also granted the plaintiff’s request for compensatory damages from April 1, 2022 until the final execution of the judgment.

Tkibuli Magistrate's Court, based on the verdict of June 15, 2023, also approved the petition of the lawyer of ISFED and made the decision to restore the plaintiff to her work and allocate 3 months' salary for an immediate execution.

Neli Kareli-Kakhidze has been working on a management position in Tkibuli Municipality since 2014. No disciplinary action was taken against her during this period. Moreover, her evaluations, as a public servant, were excellent. On February 18, 2021, Giorgi Gakharia resigned as the Prime Minister of Georgia, and then founded a new party. The ruling party soon began to fire and pressure Gakharia's supporters and party members, as well as their relatives and friends employed in budgetary institutions.

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) pointed out[1] the facts of alleged pressure on public officials as early as September 1, 2021. The report was about the ongoing reorganization processes in Tkibuli Municipality. On August 5, the mayor of Tkibuli, Temur Chubinidze, called the head of health and social services of Tkibuli Municipality, Nelli Kareli, to his office and asked her if she had joined Giorgi Gakharia's party. The mayor also told her that the party (Georgian Dream) ordered her dismissal. Speaking to the ISFED’s observer, Mr. Chubinidze positively assessed the activities of the Health and Social Services and Neli Kareli herself.

On August 6, 2021, according to the order of Tkibuli Mayor N. B.74.74212183, the 2021 annual plan of the internal audit that was approved in December 2020 was changed, and the audit at Nelli Kareli's office started on September 9, instead of October-December 2021.

The head of the service immediately began to implement the recommendations made as a result of the internal audit. Before her dismissal, out of the 23 recommendations issued, she fully implemented 18 recommendations, partially - 3, and only 2 recommendations were left unfulfilled. All of this was accompanied by appropriate justification. The City Hall of Tkibuli Municipality did not take into account the implementation of the recommendations and dismissed Nelli Kareli-Kakhidze from her position on March 31, 2022. In the appeals acts, there is no reasoned discussion on the proportionality of the applied disciplinary responsibility with the severity of the committed violations; it is not justified why the performance of Neli Kareli-Kakhidze was irreparable and why the application of the extreme punishment balanced the  public-private interests.

Neli Kareli-Kakhidze was in the party list of Gakharia- For Georgia for the municipal elections of October 2, 2021 in the N57 majority district of Tkibuli. Therefore, Neli Kareli-Kakhidze believes that the real reason for her dismissal was discriminatory[2] and connected with her joining the political party of the former Prime Minister, Giorgi Gakharia.

Neli Kareli-Kakhidze appealed the fact of her dismissal in court, where her interests were defended by the ISFED lawyer,  Megi Bakuridze. It is important that in order to protect the demand for the reinstatement of Mrs. Kareli-Kakhidze, ISFED had to appeal twice to the Tkibuli Magistrate's Court with the provision of a claim, since the administrative body carried out a reorganization during the dispute process and formally changed the name of the contested position, which created a risk for Nelli Kareli-Kakhidze’s reinstatement. According to the decision of May 6, 2022, the court granted ISFED the motion for a second set of claims and secured the plaintiff's interest in restoring the contested position.

ISFED, with the support of the USAID Rule of Law Program and the Open Society Foundation, is implementing the strategic litigation project, which provides free legal aid to individuals fired on alleged political grounds.

If you believe that you have been dismissed from your job on political grounds, call or write to us: 0 800 100 143; Call is free.