Ruling party members of the Tbilisi City Council, Sakrebulo, voted on October 28 to sack two opposition city council members from their senior Sakrebulo posts in a move described by opposition as “Bolshevism and political retaliation.”
Zurab Abashidze and Victor Dolidze were deputy chairman of Sakrebulo and chairman of Sakrebulo’s commission for social affairs, respectively. Both are from Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) party, led by Irakli Alasania, who has announced about intention to closely cooperate with billionaire-turned-politician Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The reason cited by the ruling party members of Sakrebulo behind their decision to sack Abashidze and Dolidze was “their failure to perform duties”.
“They have failed to properly perform their duties; there is nothing personal. We hope, that we will be able to cooperate in the future in a collegial manner and this cooperation will be more constructive,” Niko Khachirashvili, chairman of the ruling party’s faction in the Sakrebulo, said.
The news first broke about the ruling party intention to sack two members of OGFD from their Sakrebulo posts earlier on October 28, when the city council’s bureau endorsed the initiative for further approval at the Sakrebulo’s session.
The bureau session was marred by heated debate, which grew into verbal insults by ruling party members against opposition members, Davit Saganelidze of the New Rights Party said. Saganelidze and other opposition members of Sakrebulo walked out of the bureau meeting in protest against the ruling party’s decision.
“We asked for their arguments about why are being dismissed. There are no arguments; ‘we were watching closely during a year and you do not serve people’s interests’ – that’s the only argument they put forth; I will say it directly, this is a Bolshevik system… this is political retaliation against us,” Zurab Abashidze, former deputy chairman of the Sakrebulo, told journalists.
“We have carried out thousands of meetings with citizens, listening to and addressing their concerns, but they [referring to ruling party members] do not care about it,” Victor Dolidze, former chairman of Sakrebulo’s commission for social affairs, said.
Jaba Samushia, member of Sakrebulo from Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), also described in the ruling party’s decision as “a political retaliation” against the opponents.
Both Dolidze and Abashidze were elected on their previous posts in the ruling party-dominated Sakrebulo as a result of political deal after the May, 2010 local elections, under which the ruling party agreed to allocate some of the post in the city council to opposition members.