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Opposition Slams Tbilisi City Hall for Money Transaction to Pro-GD Politician

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, March 13
Georgian parliamentary opposition party United National Movement (UNM) claims Tbilisi City Hall has transferred 30,000 GELfrom the reserve fund to pro-ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party politician Levan Gachechiladze, who is also a former presidency candidate of the united opposition.

The party has addressed the State Audit Service (AO) of Georgia asking to study the expediency of money transfer.

UNM member Levan Khabeishvili says former Mayor Davit Narmania used to finance prosecutors, adding the current Mayor Kakha Kaladze spends budgetary funds on pro-governmental businessman.

“While there are 94,000 socially vulnerable people in the capital, who are usually denied financing for medicines, the mayor finances a millionaire businessman Gachechiladze,” Khabeishvili stressed.

Tbilisi City Hall says they really transferred money to Gachechiladze in order to finance his medical treatment abroad, which he needed.

The mayor’s office denied that the motive of financing Gachechiladze’s treatment was his political past and support of the GD party.

Ex-mayoral candidate, politician Aleksandre Elisashvili also slammed Kaladze for transferring money to the businessman.

Elisashvili explained that Tbilisi mayor has to publicly explain why the money was sent to Gachechiladze, when the City Hall never finances medical treatments abroad.

“I am very interested why Levan Gachechiladze was selected for financing. But everything is clear - Kaladze and the Georgian Dream are not in the people's service. They are the representatives of a mafia group and help only each-other,” said Elisashvili.

Levan Gachechiladzeis a Georgian politician and businessman who ran as the main oppositional candidate in Georgian presidential elections in 2008.

Levan Gachechiladze’s rise to fame started with first of its kind Franco-Georgian wine alliance, which he secured between his company Georgian Wines & Spirits and French Pernod Ricard during the very volatile post-soviet years for Georgia.

Currently Gachechiladze is involved with multiple businesses and lobbying activities. Together with his brother, he is also the owner of TV Station Maestro.

Gachechiladze was actively taking part in protest rallies against then president Mikheil Saakashvili, which eventually weakened Saakashvili's power and ultimately led to its handover to the opposition in 2012.