Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo), dominated by councilors from ruling GD coalition, approved on January 15 Grigol Liluashvili as new deputy mayor of the capital city, replacing Giorgi Solomonia, who resigned earlier this week.
Grigol Liluashvili has served as chairman of the supervisory board of ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Bank.
Liluashvili also served as chief executive in Ivanishvili-affiliated company involved in implementation of a controversial Panorama Tbilisi large-scale project to construct multi-functional complex on the hillside in the old part of the capital city. The plan is strongly opposed by preservationist groups, who argue that this overscaled project will destroy Tbilisi’s historic setting.
Opposition members of the Tbilisi Sakrebulo from the UNM party were against of Liluashvili’s nomination, saying that this appointment was part of Ivanishvili’s “informal rule”.
“His [Liluashvili] actions will be determined by Ivanishvili’s whims,” Sevdia Ugrekhelidze, Tbilisi Sakrebulo member from the opposition UNM party, said.
Liluashivli, who was approved with 36 votes to 4, said that “timely” implementation of infrastructure projects would be among his priorities.
Resignation of previous deputy mayor Solomonia, who was replaced by Liluashvili, came after PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili met on January 11 Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania and spoke about the need to speed up pace of implementation of infrastructure projects in the capital city.
Vice Mayor Lasha Abashidze, and three other deputies of Tbilisi Mayor – Irakli Lekvinadze, Giorgi Khelaia and Nina Khatiskatsi, retain their posts.