Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli
On December 25, at the special session of Gori City Council the deputies could not adopt the 2016 budget. 14 out of 15 council members participated in the session. During the ballot, votes divided equally and the council could not pass the budget.
Council members from the opposition parties did not support the budget bill. Council member from the Free Democrats Davit Tsetsvadze opposed the city mayor at the session and said the budget bill was designed for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“If you are preparing for the elections, you should admit it. Otherwise I cannot explain why you doubled funding for the public law legal entities and why you increased personnel. This budget has only one function – to pay salaries,” Davit Tsetsvadze said at the session.
Other council members also protested funding of the public law legal entities of the City Hall and increased number of employees in the local authority like Tsetsvadze.
“The budget was failed because it was designed for the public law legal entities, where people just get salaries for nothing. All of these entities should be inspected; the number of personnel is also increased. The government is probably preparing for the elections and they need more people in the entities,” council member from the Georgian Party Ilia Metreveli said.
Chairman of the city council said the deputies will present recommendations to the City Hall and the budget bill will be sent back to the council session only after the recommendations will be followed.
“Unfortunately, as you saw the 2016 budget was not passed. In accordance to the law, the majority of council members had to support it. So it needed 8 votes out of 15. Today one council member was absent; only 14 members attended it and the votes divided in equal parts 7-7. So, the bill failed.
I offered the deputies to submit their remarks to the budget that we have sent to the City Hall. We will go through legal procedures and then schedule new special session,” chairman of the city council Papuna Koberidze said.
The members of the city council say the remarks of the deputies were not reflected in the budget for what they did not vote for it.
“The remarks of the opposition parties were not envisaged in the bill, so we could not take responsibility over this budget,” city council member from the United National Movement Mindia Goderdzishvili said.
The City Mayor left the council session after the budget was failed. Mayor Zurab Jirkvelishvili evaluated the decision of the deputies as political game and said he hoped the council members would have voted for the bill.
“During the discussion process the council members had remarks. We considered part of their notes and presented well-grounded positions on another part of their remarks, which we had not considered. Presumably, at the next council session we will present more agreed version of the budget,” the Mayor Zurab Jirkvelishvili said.
According to the draft budget, in 2016 Gori will have budget of 15 million GEL.