Georgian Dream lawmakers have initiated a bill envisaging cutting Tbilisi Mayor’s powers at the expense of increasing Tbilisi City Council’s (Sakrebulo) authorities.
If approved, the bill will deprive Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava authority to appoint members of municipality’s executive branch unilaterally without approval of the Sakrebulo.
According to the bill the Mayor will have to name candidacies for his deputies, chief of his administration, heads of municipal services and heads (gamgebeli) of Tbilisi’s districts before Sakrebulo and the latter has to approve them. If Mayor-nominated candidate fails to receive Sakrebulo’s endorsement after two tries, one-third of Sakrebulo members will have the right to name a candidate; if this candidate also fails to get endorsement from majority of Sakrebulo members, Tbilisi Mayor will be able to appoint official unilaterally.
Although Tbilisi Sakrebulo will have no right to impeach the Mayor, the bill will allow Sakrebulo to sack deputy mayors, heads of municipal services, heads (gamgebeli) of Tbilisi districts and heads of legal entities established by the Tbilisi municipality.
To initiate non-confidence vote, Sakrebulo will require support of one-third of sitting members of the council and to sack an official in question, it will require votes of more than half of 50-seat Sakrebulo members.
Tbilisi Sakrebulo, in which UNM has lost its majority this summer, enjoyed with these powers before Tbilisi Mayor became directly elected post in 2010. Sakrebulo was deprived of these powers through legislative amendments passed in late 2009 and enforced after Ugulava was directly elected in 2010 local elections. Next municipal elections are scheduled for spring, 2014.
UNM says that with this bill, sponsored by GD lawmakers Irakli Tripolski and Gia Zhorzholiani, GD aims at seizing power in Tbilisi municipality’s executive branch by voting out officials appointed by Ugulava.