Batumi City Council of the previous convocation approved the 2022 budget amid protests

Batumi Municipality city council of the 2017 convocation approved the 2022 budget amid protests. The City council adopted the draft budget with 15 votes. Opposition MPs opposed the adoption of the budget. According to the opposition, next year’s budget should have been approved by the new composition of the City Council. According to them, the current composition of the City Council is illegitimate and they did not have the right to approve the budget.

Tensions in the city council escalated after UNM member Mirdat Kamadadze released a substance in the City council hall. 

After that, the police took him out of the city council building, and the city council chairman announced a break. Noise in Batumi was also mentioned at the bureau meeting yesterday. Opposition lawmakers tried to block the session and prevent the old city council from approving the budget.

According to Mirdat Kamadadze, if the City Council fails to approve the budget, there will be a need for early elections and this is why the government is trying to get the budget approved by the old council. According to him, when there are no institutions in the country where they can complain about this injustice, they have to use all “legitimate, naturally non-violent” ways to prevent this from happening. 

According to the results of the 2021 local self-government elections, the mandates in the Batumi Sakrebulo(City Council) were distributed as follows: “Georgian Dream” – 16; “National Movement” – 15; “Gakharia – for Georgia” – 3; “Lelo” – 1. Later, one of the members of the City Council left Giorgi Gakharia’s party, and Nugzar Putkaradze, a member of the National Movement, passed away. He was a majoritarian MP and re-elections were held in his constituency.

It should be noted that in 2016-2020, the Batumi City Council always approved the city budget at the end of December.

Parliamentary hearings of the candidates of the Supreme Court took place

Four candidates for the Supreme Court – Genadi Makaridze, Nino Sandodze, Tamar Okropiridze and Tea Dzimistarashvili – were heard in the Parliament on November 25-26.

On November 25, EU Ambassador Carl Hartzel said: “We have been invited to today’s and tomorrow’s hearings in Parliament, but we have refused.” He said the selection process was not in line with the EU-mediated agreement reached on April 19, as well as the conditions set for EU macro-financial assistance. Hartzel also noted that there are some gaps in Georgian legislation that “do not fully comply with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.”

NGOs have called on the Georgian parliament to reject the appointment of Supreme Court judges until “systemic justice reform is carried out and a political consensus decision is binding on the issue.”

On November 26, the US Embassy in Tbilisi was critical of the judges’ hearing: “The US Embassy is once again disappointed that Parliament is continuing the process of appointing Supreme Court judges until the independent evaluation of previous waves of judicial reform is completed, as agreed by Parliament leaders. We also regret that the appointment of judges is taking place without the participation of non-judicial members of the High Council of Justice. “

The appointment of Supreme Court judges by parliament runs counter to the spirit of the April 19 agreement. In July 2021, Georgian Dream MPs appointed at least six Supreme Court judges for life.

23 MEPs call for sanctions against officials over Saakashvili

The 23 members of the European Parliament called on the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell, to seriously consider imposing sanctions on those who insulted and insulted former President Mikheil Saakashvili

In a letter published on November 19, MEPs said that whether Saakashvili was guilty of the charges against him, “his rights and dignity need to be respected.”

Based on the assessment of a group of experts set up under the auspices of the Public Defender, MEPs said that Gldani prison hospital was unsuitable for Saakashvili’s treatment, adding that despite recommendations from a group of doctors who feared he might die in prison if the situation did not change, the government refused. On transfer to a civilian hospital.

In the letter, MEPs express concern over the decision of the Special Penitentiary Service, which refused to allow Saakashvili to attend his trials. They also condemned the fact that European politicians weren’t allowed to visit Saakashvili in jail. 

 

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