Noting that with the current wording, in such a case, the powers of both the sakrebulo and the mayor are terminated, Transparency International emphasizes that the initiated changes “significantly weaken the role of the sakrebulo, impede the development of local democracy and are tailored exclusively to the interests of the Georgian Dream.”
“Approval of the budget of the municipality, which is one of the most important documents at the level of self-government, is the subject of a general agreement between the city council and the mayor. Accordingly, both parties are responsible for its approval,” the organization said in a statement.
Transparency International also notes that the new initiative diverts responsibility from the mayor and prevents the expression of a different position on the draft budget in the sakrebulos, especially in those sakrebulos (Rustavi, Zugdidi, Chkhorotsku) where no party has a strong majority.
Accordingly, the organization suggests that the purpose of the changes to the Self-Government Code may be that “the parliamentary majority of the Georgian Dream will artificially, in favor of the incumbent mayors, resolve possible disagreements that may arise between the mayors representing the Georgian Dream and the opposition sakrebulos in the approval process forthcoming budget in these municipalities”.
Thus, Transparency International-Georgia calls on the Georgian Parliament not to support the proposed changes, which put the mayor in a better position in front of the Sakrebulo.