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Mayoral race in Tbilisi starts with bickering

by | Nov 27, 2013
gigi ugulava  ii - 2013-02-23

Encumbent Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–A dispute has developed between the current Tbilisi mayor and the likely new mayor.

The dispute has to do with infrastructure projects in Tbilisi which the encumbent mayor claims the candidate for new mayor, who is now infrastructure minister, has stopped.

It concerns the construction of a bridge between Gelovani Street and Samtredia Street, a project which was halted for unknown reasons.

Narmania responded that the Infrastructure Ministry only stopped the construction after receiving a letter from Tbilisi City Hall. Encumbent mayor, Gigi Ugulava, claims this was a letter sent by the residents of Samtredia Street and that it was sent to the ministry for further reaction but not for ‘abolishing the project.’

“The minister attempts to blame it on the other bodies and spreading false information in order to mislead the population,” he says, arguing that the project aimed to reload the streets from busy traffic.

On Monday, Ugulava said that for the last six months, Minister of Infrastructure Davit Narmania has done nothing and has stopped all infrastructure projects and didn’t say anything when the government reduced the funding og City Hall by 50 million lari (USD 30 million).

Ugulava suggested holding a debate, but Narmania rejected the offer and said he doesn’t have time because of too much work, but expressed readiness to debate with each of the candidates for mayor.

“If the time comes and he will decide to run in the election again as Tbilisi mayor and there will be a debate, I am ready to have a discussion with any of the candidates,” he said.

On Tuesday, Narmania accused Tbilisi City Hall of being responsible for problems in the city, like the Baratashvili bridge, which he claims is in a difficult condition. Narmania added that he doesn’t plan to respond to Ugulava’s statements every day.

The Georgian Dream coalition a few days ago named Narmania as candidate for Tbilisi mayor. Local elections including election of Tbilisi Mayor, will be held in May, 2014.



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