Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo) adopted on March 7 capital city’s 2014 budget after the draft proposed by the Tbilisi City Hall was twice voted down by Sakrebulo over the past two months.
The budget was confirmed by a vote of 41-0 with two abstentions four days before the deadline expired beyond which Sakrebulo and City Hall could have faced possibility of being dissolved by the central government in case of a failure to adopt the new budget.
Sakrebulo, where Georgian Dream councilors hold majority, and Tbilisi City Hall, which remains under opposition UNM’s control, were locked in budget battle for more than two months.
GD was rejecting draft proposed by mayor’s office citing that it was not transparent and tailored on UNM’s political needs. The Tbilisi City Hall argued that GD was deliberately voting it down with the purpose to take over municipal government through imposing direct rule of central government. But after recent consultations the two sides were able to reach an agreement.
Deputy mayor of Tbilisi, Papuna Petriashvili, said on March 7 that consultations were “business-like” and although there were some provisions in the draft on which the mayor’s office disagreed, in overall the document was acceptable.
“This document ensures that no one will be able to spend budgetary funds for party purposes,” said Sakrebulo chairman, Irakli Shikhiashvili, who was UNM member before switching side with GD.