18:54, Thursday, 21.03.2019
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Self-Government vs Self-Government


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

Before the issue of establishment of a new municipality as a result of unification of Gori city and Gori municipality councils was put in motion in the municipality council’s session, it was discussed through controversy during the session of the Gori city council. Part of the council members, who were against the unification of municipalities in 2014, demanded the opponents to present arguments why they supported unification of the municipalities now. 

“With this unification Gori will no longer have 15-member city council and the document, which was put on motion today, does not state anything about the representative body of the local self-government,” independent member of the city council Tamar Tedliashvili said.

Chairman of the city council Zurab Rosebashvili said during the council meeting they voted for the legislative initiative, which was drafted by the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure and will be presented to the parliament. Rosebashvili said the decision of the council has only formal character and it is only up to the Parliament of Georgia to make final decision.
During the ballot, nine members of the council voted for the unification of the municipalities; only 4 members voted against it.

Representatives of nongovernmental organizations and civil society attended the council session; they are against unification of the municipalities. During the session they made remarks about the initiative that turned into dispute why the already divided municipalities shall not be unified back.
Lawyer of the Human Rights Center’s Shida Kartli office said, the majority of the city council made political and illegal decision.

Aleksi Merebashvili, lawyer of Human Rights Center’s Shida Kartli office: “Majority of the Gori city council, who voted for the unification of the municipalities, unfortunately carry out the interests of the central authority and the ruling party instead taking the interests of the local population into account. Their positions about the disputed issues were very superficial and groundless. The main issue is that their positions did not reflect the results from the consultations with the population that violates the Constitution of Georgia and the Law on Local Self-Governance, which states that similar decisions shall be made based on the consultations of local population. Consequently, the decision of the city council is not legitimate.”

In parallel to the city council, the issue was discussed in the Gori municipality council too. The session was conducted in noisy and controversial environment. The council chairman supported the unification of the municipalities while his deputy was against it. The ballot finished with the following results: 16 supporters vs 11 protester.

Konstantine Tavzarashvili, chairman of the Gori municipality council: “I voted for the unification. It was just three-year-long experiment and they saw it was not successful model. Consequently they decided it would be better to unify the municipalities back and to spend the spared funds on infrastructural projects.”
Deputy Chairman Temur Giguashvili said the decision of the majority of council members demonstrated that Gori has self-proclaimed self-government.

“We are self-proclaimed self-governors. There is no self-governance in our municipality while the regional governor interferes in our activities. After unification we will turn up in the same situation, while fewer funds were spent in the villages and more resources were spent on the towns,” Giguashvili said.

Representatives of the nongovernmental organizations and civil society, who are against unification of the municipalities, are going to appeal the decision of the Gori city council and Gori municipal council. 

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