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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Monday, December 31

“Davit Gamkrelidze met with journalists”

Akhali Taoba reports that oppositional New Rights presidential candidate Davit Gamkrelidze met with Georgian journalists at a conference on December 29.

If elected president, Gamkrelidze pledged, he would hold a weekly question and answer sessions with journalists.

Gamkrelidze also complained about the multiple airings of a “Prime Time” talk show episode featuring incumbent presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili with his family and supporters.

“This serves to promote Saakashvili as much as possible,” Gamkrelidze said.

“Davit Bakradze calls on opposition to be more polite”

State Minister for Conflict Resolution Davit Bakradze, the spokesman for incumbent Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidential campaign, is calling on opposition campaigns to be more respectful in their rhetoric, Rezonansi writes.

Recent statements from opposition representatives, he said, are intolerant and alarming.

“This is a free country and everyone here has right to express his own opinion,” Bakradze added.

“Sergey Bagapsh met with Georgians”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports on a December 28 meeting between Abkhaz de facto president Sergey Bagapsh and ethnic Georgians living in secessionist Abkhazia.

Bagapsh reportedly told the ethnic Georgians not to vote in Georgia’s January 5 presidential election.

The newspaper also cited reports of a state of emergency declared throughout separatist-controlled territory; representatives of the de facto secessionist authorities have denied declaring emergency rule.

“Incumbent Mikheil Saakashvili continues campaign meetings”

Incumbent presidential candidate is continuing his campaign tour of the regions, Akhali Taoba writes.

On December 29, he stopped by the eastern border town of Lagodekhi, surveying a new sports complex.

“I promise you I will struggle a better future,” Saakashvili told residents.

“New Year’s presents for orphanages from future military officers”

Rezonansi reports that Georgian military cadets visited two orphanages in Tbilisi on December 27, bringing New Year’s gifts for the children.

National Defense Academy students gave presents including candy, toys and warm clothing, as well as calendars and magazines published by the Ministry of Defense.

The children organized concerts for the cadets.

“Irina Sarishvili calls on the opposition to agree to one joint candidate”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that presidential candidate Irina Sarishvili is calling for the country’s entire opposition to unite behind one joint candidate for the presidential election, now less than a week away.

At a December 28 press conference, Sarishvili said she would withdraw her candidacy if the opposition can agree on a single candidate to support.

There are seven candidates on the ballot January 5. If no single candidate wins a majority of the vote, the election will go to a run-off between the top two finishers two weeks later.

“The recently developed situation has confused the Georgian people, and this will benefit the incumbent, [Mikheil] Saakashvili. To defeat him, the whole opposition spectrum should agree on single candidate,” she said.