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Opposition Mayoral candidate vows solving parking problem

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, July 3
Elene Khoshtaria, the mayoral candidate of the parliamentary minority Movement for Freedom - European Georgia, promises to solve problems with the C.T. Park company, which has operated in Tbilisi for almost ten years, regulating the city’s parking system. However, the service costs and rules have raised various questions about the company among the people, who disapprove the work of the company.

The contract between the City Park Company and the Mayor’s Office was signed under the previous government in 2007, when Gigi Ugulava was the Mayor, and the company received exclusive rights to manage the parking services in Tbilisi until 2022.

The current government is also unsatisfied with the work of City Park and has stressed many times that the agreement is unprofitable for the city, but cannot cancel the contract, because according to the international auditing company Ernst & Young, the cancellation of the agreement will cost the Mayor’s office 25 million GEL in expenses.

Ugulava, who signed the one-sided and unprofitable agreement with the parking regulatory company, is now one of the leaders of European Georgia.

Khoshtaria says that her teammates now realize that the signing of the agreement was a mistake and want to improve the situation.

“This was definitely a mistake by Gigi Ugulava but I am proud of my team being able to openly express their mistake and think about fixing it,” she added.

Khoshtaria claims that her team has the experience of building the country and they can offer a lot of new visions and ideas in order to advance the country.

“Our main ability is that we understand our mistakes and openly talk about them. When the mistakes are realized, they can be improved,” she said.

The Movement for Freedom - European Georgia used to be part of the former ruling party the United National Movement (UNM), founded in October 2001 by ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili.

It was in power from 2003 until 2012, when the now-ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party took the leading position in parliamentary elections and left the UNM as the second largest opposition party.

The party dissolved on 12 January 2017, after some of its most prominent members decided to quit the UNM and form a new party.