Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo), where UNM lost majority this summer, voted down capital city’s draft 2014 budget, proposed by the municipal government, controlled by UNM.
The draft budget was rejected with 18-21 vote and 3 abstentions late on December 29 after several hours of heated debates during which GD and some other members of Sakrebulo, those which are not UNM representatives, claimed that the draft was not transparent enough and spending was tailored on UNM’s political needs.
According to the law if Sakrebulo fails to confirm 2014 budget till March 11, the central government will have the right to dissolve Tbilisi Sakrebulo.
“Tbilisi Mayor’s Office failed to pass through Sakrebulo the budget, which it wanted to use for [UNM] party purposes,” said chairman of Sakrebulo, Irakli Shikhiashvili, himself a former UNM member before switching side in September 2012.
Sevdia Ugrekhelidze, who is now an acting mayor after Gigi Ugulava was suspended from Tbilisi mayoral office, said that capital city’s municipal government was ready for a constructive cooperation with Sakrebulo and taking into consideration its objections, but the local council, she said, failed to timely submit its remarks.
After Sakrebulo’s rejection of 2014 budget, the municipal government is eligible to allocate funds to cover various expenses, but the amount of monthly spending in an interim period before the new budget is passed should not exceed one-twelfth of previous year’s budgetary expenditures. Sakrebulo Chairman, Irakli Shikhiashvili, said the municipal government has about GEL 60 million at its disposal under this rule to carry on implementing all the projects and cover expenses before new budget is passed.