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On 30 September 2015, on air on Maestro, a member of the United National Movement, Nika Melia, underscored the existence of human resources problems at Tbilisi City Hall. Mr Melia stated: "The governing crisis at the City Hall is real. There is no Department of Architecture. There is no Department of Economic Policy. The Governor of Vake has not been appointed for a long time already. Now, the Tbilisi Improvement Department has also been added to the list."

According to official information, the following positions of department directors are vacant at Tbilisi City Hall: Property Management Agency, Department of Architecture, Department of Economic Policy, the Municipal Supervision Department and the Tbilisi Ambulance Centre. Additionally, the position of the Governor of Vake is also vacant.

The Director of the Municipal Supervision Department of Tbilisi City Hall, Gega Nizharadze, submitted his letter of resignation on 6 October 2015. The Director of the Property Management Agency, Giorgi Gagoshidze, left his position to move to the Tbilisi Entrepreneurship Support Centre. In May 2015, the Director of the Tbilisi Development Foundation, Temur Khomeriki, was dismissed from his position. On 26 June 2015, the Director of the Economic Policy Department of Tbilisi City Hall left his position. On 2 October 2015, the Director of the Tbilisi Ambulance Service of Tbilisi City Hall, Teimuraz Barkalaia, resigned from his position. The former Governor of Vake, Lasha Abashidze, was appointed as Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi on 5 September 2015. Since then, the position of the Governor of Vake has been vacant.

On 7 October 2015, the Mayor of Tbilisi also made comments with regard to the vacant positions at Tbilisi City Hall. Davit Narmania believes it absurd to have an agiotage because of certain reshufflings within City Hall. The Mayor added that in the nearest future those vacant positions would be filled with professional employees. A member of the Parliamentary Majority, Gia Zhorzholiani, also assessed the resignations of the directors of municipal departments and stated that the changes might be caused by the possible replacement of management.

On 7 October 2015, members of the Tbilisi City Council faction United National Movement released a statement demanding the resignation of Davit Narmania and accused him of being inactive, irresponsible and corrupt. The Mayor of Tbilisi responded to the statement and stated: "Why should I resign? A mayor elected by the people cannot be dismissed by the opposition political party. This is an artificial agiotage which has no real ground. Come visit Tbilisi City Hall and see for yourselves how the departments are working there."

Conclusion

At the present moment, there are seven vacant positions for directors of municipal departments at Tbilisi City Hall. Some of the departments have not had a director for months already and the process to appoint their replacements has been protracted. The position of the Governor of Vake is still vacant. According to the Mayor of Tbilisi, Davit Narmania, the vacant positions will be filled by candidates with the required qualifications.

FactCheck concludes that Nika Melia’s statement is TRUE.

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