ISFED reacts to a GEL 2 mil increase of Batumi Municipality Budget in the pre-election period
Batumi City Hall submitted a budget amendment request to Sakrebulo for a GEL 2.225 mil increase to rehabilitate infrastructure in the aftermath of natural disaster. Draft of a resolution on amendment to Resolution No.35 of Sakrebulo on Approval of 2016 Budget for Batumi Municipality, dated December 25, 2015, states that the local self-government needs to take urgent actions for rehabilitating homes, buildings, areas and infrastructure affected by natural disaster in Batumi. Batumi City Hall suggests covering these expenses from the budget of the municipality. 

According to the explanatory memo attached to the draft, increase of budget expenses has been proposed in consideration of heavy precipitations and natural disasters anticipated this fall and coming winter. 

ISFED believes that Batumi City Hall’s request for budget increase during the pre-election period violates prohibitions imposed by the Election Code, with the aim of abusing administrative resources. 

Under para.3, Article 49 of the Election Code of Georgia, From the 60th day before and including Election Day, it is prohibited to implement such projects/programs that have not been previously included in the State Budget of Georgia, the republic budget of any Autonomous Republic of Georgia, or the budget of any local self-government unit, except when projects/programs are funded within the allocations provided for by the respective program code of the respective budget and/or by the funds from such allocations, as well as by the funds allocated by donors at least 60 days before Election Day.

In light of the foregoing, ISFED urges Batumi City Hall and Sakrebulo to abide by the imperative requirement of the Election Code prohibiting increase of budget funds during pre-election period, and enact the above draft after final results of the parliamentary elections are announced. 

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