TBILISI, DFWatch – The Saakashvili regime has finally revealed how much it is spending on building a new parliament building: USD 82.5 million.
Finance minister Dimitry Gvindadze says the whole process with building a new parliament is completely transparent. Constructino work will cost 133 700 000 lari over the state budget, according th Gvindadze, quoted by IPN.
The finance minister notes that construction of the building is financed from regional funds.
The construction phase is to end in 2012.
It was the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili’s idea to move parliament to Kutaisi, the country’s second largest city, located in the western half.
Currently, the parliament is located on Rustaveli Ave, the main street in Tbilisi.
The president’s idea to move parliament, in recent times something which the military junta in Myanmar is known for, has caused strong criticism from opposition groups as well as think tanks.
Information about the construction process has been absent, except for “Misha’s” celebratory TV appearances. Later there were some legislative amendments, including constitutional changes, made necessary by the fact that the constitution specifies the location of the country’s parliament and its guidelines for functioning.
The constitution also specified that the new location could only be made use of after the parliamentary elections in October 2012.
Saakashvili has promised Georgians that on May 26, the country’s independence day, the new parliament building will be used by lawmakers for the first time.
“Misha” last year indicated that construction work would be finished by then, but recently information was published on webpage of Parliament that construction work will only be partly finished by May. Nevertheless, it will be possible to hold sessions there, as the session hall will be ready together with a glass facade.
In April, the lawyers’ group GYLA published the results of an investigation they had done into the process, and concluded that the process may be corrupted.
GYLA’s researchers tried inquiring for information with the president’s administration, the government, the local government and Kutaisi City Hall, but none of them provided appropriate information about who is responsible for the construction process.